Pakistan News Service

Monday Jul 22, 2019, Zul-qaadah 19, 1440 Hijri
Logo
LATEST :
Pakistan News Home -> Top -> News Details

Senate passed elections (amendment) bill

09 May, 2019

  Related News  
Eight killed in blast near Data Darbar
22,000 village councils election to held in Punjab: Imran Khan
  More on this View All

ISLAMABAD: The Senate on Wednesday passed the elections (amendment) bill, removing the last legal hitch in the way of upcoming provincial assembly polls for 16 general seats in the Fata.

The bill to amend Section 20 of the Elections Act, 2017, has already been passed by the National Assembly to give a legal cover to the delimitation carried out by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) allocating one seat to the scattered frontier regions, in order to avert the disenfranchisement of these populations.

The new Sub-section 2-A has been inserted into Section 20, and reads: “For the purpose of delimiting constituencies, for the general seats of the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa for tribal areas, two or more separate areas may be grouped into one constituency for their elections to be held in 2019 and by-elections related therein, and thereafter this sub-section shall stand omitted.”
Article continues after ad

Earlier, an ordinance to this effect had been promulgated by the president on Jan 1, a day before the ECP notified the draft delimitation proposal for the tribal districts.

The bill was passed shortly after the opposition parties staged a walkout from the house to protest the absence of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi in order to explain the controversial remarks Prime Minister Imran Khan made in Iran.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan Swati had a Foreign Office brief and was ready to respond on behalf of the foreign minister regarding the statement the prime minister made in Tehran that terrorists had in the past used Pakistan’s soil to undertake attacks in Iran.

The opposition benches did not allow Mr Swati to respond, however, and insisted that, first, Prime Minister Imran Khan should have been present in the house to defend his statement, and second, if not, then Mr Qureshi should at least have been present as “the statement had wide implications.”

Mr Swati insisted that there was no such requirement in the law and under the principle of collective responsibility, he had the right to respond on behalf of his Cabinet colleague.

Senate Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani also upheld the position taken by the minister, prompting the opposition to stage a walkout.

Soon after, Leader of the House Senator Shibli Faraz criticised the disruption of house proceedings more than once within a week and blamed former chairman of the Senate and PPP Senator Mian Raza Rabbani for the mess. He said Mr Rabbani used to run the Senate like a military academy and was very strict in allowing points of order during proceedings, but regretted that his (Mr Rabbani) standards appear to have changed as now, disruption starts soon after the recitation from the Holy Quran.

“It must be seen how much the opposition is serious about the running of the house,” he said. Mr Faraz also said that one or two “other opposition lawmakers” were also instrumental in planning these walkouts — a statement that was endorsed by his party colleague Senator Noman Wazir.

The chair, in his ruling, said that the opposition benches should propose an amendment to the constitutional provision of collective responsibility. He also said that not a single prime minister had ever attended the ‘Zero Hour’ since rules were amended to bind the chief executive to respond to senators’ answers.

Earlier, former Senate chairman Mr Rabbani said that the prime minister should himself have come to the house to explain his statement. He also read out Rule 61 (2-A) of the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the Senate, under which the prime minister is to respond to questions related to him once in a week during Zero Hour.

Nauman Wazir of the PTI pointed out that words like ‘whenever possible’ and ‘when available’ had been used in the rule, which clearly means it was not bending.

 What do you think about the story ? Leave your comments!

Heading (Optional)
Your Comments: *

Your Name:*
E-mail (Optional):
City (Optional):
Country (Optional):
 
 
Field marked(*) are mandatory.
Note. The PakTribune will publish as many comments as possible but cannot guarantee publication of all. PakTribune keeps its rights reserved to edit the comments for reasons of clarity, brevity and morality. The external links like http:// https:// etc... are not allowed for the time being to be posted inside comments to discourage spammers.

  Speak Out View All
Military Courts
Imran - Qadri long march
 
Candid Corner
Exclusive by
Lt. Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
Pakistan itself a victim of state-sponsored terrorism: Qamar Bajwa
Should You Try Napping During the Workday?
Suggested Sites