The government has constituted a special parliamentary committee to oversee affairs related to parliament, to engage the opposition on legislation, and to ensure smooth proceedings of the National Assembly and the Senate.
The committee constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, with the objective of making the parliament more effective, comprises National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, and Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz.
Faraz said that the committee was actually formed by the prime minister during the party’s core committee meeting, after the government and the opposition had struck a “give and take” deal in the National Assembly on Friday.
Under the compromise deal, the government withdrew all 11 recently-rushed presidential ordinances, and the opposition had dropped the no-trust motion against Deputy National Assembly Speaker Qasim Suri.
The National Assembly had witnessed a rare show of “ceasefire” between the treasury and opposition benches on Friday as, unlike in the past, the lawmakers from both sides refrained from exchanging harsh words.
The consensus between the government and the opposition was reached during a meeting held in the Speaker’s chamber on the issue of the passage of 11 ordinances by the National Assembly on November 7.
In the meeting, presided over by Speaker Qaiser, the government side agreed that the ordinances were bulldozed in “haste”, without giving due right to the legislators and standing committees concerned to hold a productive debate on them.
On its part, the opposition assured the government that it was withdrawing the no-confidence motion against Suri.
The meeting decided that some of the withdrawn ordinances would be sent to the standing committees concerned, and the rest discussed in the house.
As the government and the opposition agreed to run the house smoothly, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry submitted a privilege motion to the National Assembly Secretariat against parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), Khawaja Asif, over “misrepresentation of truth” on the floor of the house.
In his motion, the minister alleged that Asif had, during his speech on November 14, quoted representatives of the federal and the Punjab governments as saying “let Nawaz Sharif die”.
Chaudhry said that this is a “vivid misrepresentation of truth and of the decision of the Honourable Islamabad High Court regarding the interim bail of Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds”.
Quoting the IHC verdict, the minister stated that “the representatives of the Punjab chief minister and the prime minister had expressed no objection, if interim bail to Nawaz Sharif was granted”.
Chaudhry said the court judgment outright negated the statement of Asif.
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