ISLAMABAD: As many as 49 opposition senators Tuesday moved a requisition to summon an extraordinary session of the upper house of the Parliament to take on Israel’s continued aggression against Palestinians.
The motion for the requisition submitted by opposition senators in Senate Secretariat demands an end to “Israeli state terrorism and murderous attacks on Gaza, as well as the ongoing violent and illegal occupation of Palestinian lands in the worst example of settler colonialism.”
The motion requisitions an extraordinary Senate session to “condemn Israel’s systematic assault against Palestinian worshippers in the Haram-al-Sharif during the holy month of Ramazan.”
Commenting on the requisition motion, Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentary Leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman said “Pakistan has always condemned Israel’s use of force and its deliberate policy of expanding illegal settlements forcing Palestinians to leave their homes but these recent Israeli hostilities are the worst that this territory has seen since the 2014 war. Their security forces raided the mosque multiple times and used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse worshippers at the mosque.”
In a statement issued here, she added, “At least 212 Palestinians have been killed in hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza, including 61 children and 37 women. About 34,000 Palestinians have been displaced from their homes. There can be no normalisation of Israel’s actions which are a clear violation of international humanitarian laws; it must be held accountable for its one-sided aggression.”
She further said “Since there is no temporary truce, the medics in Gaza do not even have time to recover people from under collapsed buildings. The health care system in Gaza was already struggling because of the surge in coronavirus infections and now it is overwhelmed with the wounded. At this point Israel is deliberately targeting health facilities with airstrikes, and bombing the roads surrounding al-Shifa, the largest medical centre in the Gaza Strip”.
Rehman said “It is important to do more than just issue statements that condemn Israel’s aggression, and this session should also serve as an important opportunity to share strategies that could lead to a just peace. Like always, Pakistan continues to stand with Palestine and support the people in their struggle. Unfortunately so far whatever we have done has not been enough so we all must come together to find the path to ending this historic injustice.”
Senate Secretariat officials told Business Recorder Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani was expected to summon soon the Senate’s requisitioned session. Sanjrani was on an official tour to Djibouti and landed back home earlier on Monday.
Under the related constitutional provisions, a requisitioned session of the Senate/National Assembly can be convened by the chairman Senate/speaker National Assembly (instead of the president of Pakistan) if not less than one-fourth of the total members of the House concerned sign the requisition to convene the session.
Article 54 (3) reads, “Summoning and prorogation of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) - On a requisition signed by not less than one-fourth of the total membership of the National Assembly, the speaker shall summon the National Assembly to meet, at such time and place as he thinks fit, within fourteen days of the receipt of the requisition; and when the speaker has summoned the Assembly only he may prorogue it.”
Although, the said article mentions only National Assembly, it is equally applicable to the Senate in the light of Article 61 of the Constitution. It reads “The provisions of clauses (2) to (7) of Article 53, clauses (2) and (3) of Article 54 and Article 55 shall apply to the Senate as they apply to the National Assembly and, in their application to the Senate, shall have effect as if references therein to the National Assembly, speaker and deputy speaker were references, respectively, to the Senate, chairman and deputy chairman…..”
Under normal circumstances, a session of the Parliament is summoned by the president of Pakistan.
Article 54 (1) reads, “Summoning and prorogation of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) - (1) The president may, from time to time, summon either House or both Houses or Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in joint sitting to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit and may also prorogue the same.”
National Assembly has already passed a unanimous resolution in strong denunciation of Israel’s terrorism on unarmed Palestinians.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021