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ISLAMABAD: The treasury and opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly on Friday accused each other of weakening the democratic system by not ensuring the sanctity of the parliament.

Taking the floor in the National Assembly, State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that it was the prime responsibility of the elected representatives to strengthen the democratic norms and ensure the sanctity of parliament.

He slammed the opposition parties for their “attitude” exhibited in the house on Thursday when mini-budget was being passed and said chair of the NA speaker must be given due respect.

“The protest is the right of every opposition party but it should be in a respectable way and within the parameters parliamentary and democratic norms,” he added.

He said hurling papers on the chair of speaker National Assembly was regrettable, as the government was ready to listen to the protest of the opposition parties with an open heart.

Khawaja Asif of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said that it was up to the members of the house to ensure the respect of the chair.

He was of the view that the treasury bench’s attitude was inappropriate when the controversial mini budget and the State Bank autonomy bill sailed through the house.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Noor Alam Khan said that the back benchers should also be treated with respect as they are also the elected representatives of people.

“You love our [back benchers] votes but you change altogether when we come to you seeking resolution of issues pertaining to our people. The MPs sitting in the front row are the main culprits as these are the people who don’t bother to pull over their expensive vehicles and choppers when we approach them,” he regretted.

He said that the government should make sure that gas and electricity and gas load-shedding in Peshawar city must come to an end, as “it is getting on our nerves”.

Agha Rafiullah of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) reminded the fellow lawmaker, saying it is too late for Noor Alam, as he should have said it all before casting his vote on the controversial bills on Thursday.

Responding to a question of Shazia Marri, the state minister for parliamentary affairs said that the honorarium announced by the finance minister would be ensured to the employees who performed duties during the budget session.

He said that he had discussed with the finance minister to include the staffers of the Press Information Department (PID) and Radio Pakistan in the honorarium list. PTI MNA Amjad Ali Khan said that the State Bank of Pakistan (Amendment) Bill, 2022 was tabled in the house after the consultation of all political parties.

He said that in the committee meeting, the political parties had given their input for the proposed legislation, adding it was the stance of the PTI to give independence to state institutions.

He said the prime minister would nominate the SBP Board members, and the hue and cry by the opposition is nothing but petty politics, which they are doing for their own vested interest.

Faheem Khan of Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) alleged that the PPP government in Sindh has completely destroyed the law and order situation in the province, due to which, the people are not feeling safe in their homes.

He called upon the federal government to hand over the security of the Sindh province to Rangers for improved law and order and to control the street crime, which has become a routine matter in the province especially in the port city of Karachi.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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