Friday, August 12, 2022

Cooperation in legislation: Opposition gives response to NA speaker’s letter

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ISLAMABAD: The opposition has written a reply to the Speaker National Assembly (NA) Asad Qaiser’s letter after holding a meeting of the steering committee today, ARY News reported on Sunday.

After holding a virtual meeting of the steering committee of the opposition parties, a reply was made to the NA speaker’s letter in which he sought the opposition’s cooperation in legislation.

It stated that the proposed draft laws were referred to the joint session of the Parliament. It added that the purpose of the committee has lost which was constituted to build consensus on legislation.

The opposition said that the NA speaker had constituted a committee for legislation on June 23 to mull over 21 draft laws approved by the National Assembly on June 10. The opposition said that the federal government has not followed the prescribed procedures regarding the 21 draft laws.

READ: ELECTORAL REFORMS A NATIONAL AGENDA, SAYS FAWAD CHAUDHRY

It further stated that three sessions of the committee were held on June 9, August 30 and September 9, whereas, no session was held during the past eight weeks.

In its letter, the opposition said that due to the non-cooperation of the government lawmakers, the framework of the regulations was not finalised.

The opposition urged the government to formulate laws after building consensus and consultation in view of the public interests.

The opposition parties asked the government to mull over the recommendations tabled by the committee comprising of legislators from both houses of the parliament.

READ: BABAR AWAN LAMENTS OPPOSITION’S NON-COOPERATION OVER LEGISLATION

It stated that the government should finalise the proposed laws including elections amendment bills. Moreover, the committee should unanimously approved the prescribed reforms after reviewing it.

The opposition suggested to constitute a committee like the previous committee constituted on July 25, 2014. The previous committee had organised 117 sessions besides unanimously approving electoral reforms on November 20, 2017.

The opposition parties urged the federal government to adopt the parliamentary procedures besides building consensus on the matters related to national interests.

Virtual session

A virtual session of the steering committee of the opposition parties on Sunday mulled over the legislation in the parliament.

The committee’s session was attended by former prime ministers Yousaf Raza Gillani, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Marriyum Aurangzeb, Shiza Fatima, Shazia Mari, Kamran Murtaza, Sherry Rehman and Shahida Akhtar Ali.

READ: ‘NO OPPOSITION LAWMAKER ASKED NA SPEAKER TO POSTPONE PARLIAMENT’S JOINT SESSION’

According to sources, the opposition session considered over a letter wrote by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to the Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif, seeking the opposition’s cooperation in the legislation including the electoral reforms bill.

“The government wants to discuss the bills and ordinances, which it intends to legislate through the parliament,” sources said.

The session was of the view that the legislation should be held in accordance with the spirit of the constitution and the law. “The government wants to violate the spirit of the constitution over the appointment of the Chairman NAB,” the steering committee observed.

“The opposition won’t support the government on personal grounds but can hold talks over the improvement of a law,” the committee members said in their stance.

It is to be mentioned here that the opposition parties had formed a steering committee last Wednesday to devise a joint strategy inside the parliament after the government put off Thursday’s joint session of parliament.

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