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ISLAMABAD: The hurriedly summoned first session of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)'s fourth parliamentary year couldn't begin on Friday as the government miserably failed to ensure quorum in the National Assembly despite an over hour-long break to run the proceedings of the House.

However, the House managed to pass a resolution paying rich tributes to veteran Kashmiri leader, Syed Ali Geelani died at his home in occupied Srinagar at the age of 92 and condemning the Indian occupation forces' actions after his death.

The House passed the resolution after National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser requested the opposition benches that Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan be allowed to present the resolution before the quorum was pointed out.

Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) MNA Syed Agha Rafiullah, after consulting PPP leader Naveed Qamar, accepted Qaiser's request but stated that summoning the assembly on such a short notice was not appropriate.

Rafiullah also lamented that locking the press gallery during President Arif Alvi's address to the joint session of the parliament was something which had never happened even during military rule.

Before the state minister could present the resolution, Qamar took the floor and regretted over the session being called at such a short notice and that the lawmakers from various parts of the country had to reach the assembly.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)'s Saad Rafique endorsed the PPP leaders' statements, adding the resolution for Geelani was being presented in the House unanimously.

Subsequently, Khan read out the resolution offering tribute to the late Kashmiri leader.

The resolution lauded Geelani's struggle for Kashmiri freedom, maintaining that he was the spirit of the fight for freedom.

"He was a courageous and brave guide, who dedicated his entire life to raising his voice for the protection of the rights of the people of the IIOJK," it stated.

The resolution stated that the entire nation paid tribute to Geelani for life-long struggle for the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people.

The House strongly condemned the Indian authorities' action of snatching the deceased's body from the family, imposing lockdown across the IIOJK, and burying Geelani in a heavily surveilled ceremony before dawn.

According to the resolution, Geelani opposed the Indian occupation of Kashmir and the brutalities against Kashmiris.

He fought for their rights his entire life, adding his words - "we are Pakistanis and Pakistan is ours" - have become a motto for the people of Kashmir.

The resolution said that Geelani was a role model for the youth and for the fight for freedom, adding the people of occupied Kashmir could soon succeed in the quest for their rights.

After the resolution was passed, the House could not take up the agenda as it failed to achieve the required quorum despite, all-out efforts, leaving the NA speaker with no option but to adjourn the House till Monday at 5pm.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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