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ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges, Wednesday, decided to move a privilege motion against the secretary parliamentary affairs for not showing up at the panel’s meeting but allegedly did not take action the parliamentary affairs’ advisor and minister who too were absent from the said meeting.

Subsequently, the Senate committee’s meeting ended without taking up any agenda.

According to details, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan and Secretary Parliamentary Affairs Shakeel Malik did not attend the Senate panel’s meeting, but the committee decided to move a privilege motion only against the secretary.

The committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo from National Party (NP).

The committee was scheduled to consider the proposed amendment in Rule 9 and insertion of the Fourth Schedule in the Rules of Procedure and conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012, introduced by former chairman Senate Raza Rabbani from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

The meeting was scheduled at 11 am on Wednesday. The chairman and all the five members Raza Rabbani, Irfan Siddiqui, Manzoor Kakar, Shaheen Khalid Butt and Liaqat Khan Tarakai, who attended the committee meeting, arrived on time. The committee chairman and members waited for 20 minutes for the top officials from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

The Senate panel then took a “strong notice” of the situation and unanimously decided that a motion for breach of privilege of the committee be moved by the chairman committee on behalf of the committee members against the secretary parliamentary affairs for “deliberate absence and with malafide intent, obstructing the proceedings of the committee.”

The meeting was then adjourned without taking up its agenda.

According to the details issued by the Senate panel after the meeting, the notice of August 4 meeting was issued by the Secretary Committee Muhammad Azam on July 30 after concurrence by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. The notice was circulated to the members, the secretary parliamentary affairs and “others concerned.”

“On 4th August, 2021, till 11:20 am, neither the minister of state for parliamentary affairs nor the adviser to the prime minister on parliamentary affairs appeared in the committee room. Moreover, neither secretary Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs nor any other officials of the ministry were present in the committee room. On the contrary, the chairman of the committee and above-named five honourable members of the committee were present in the committee room at 11:00 am,” the Senate panel stated in a handout issued after its meeting was adjourned.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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