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ISLAMABAD: Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has said that Parliamentarians are the precious asset of Pakistan’s democratic and constitutional struggle and the nation is proud of them.

“These are parliamentarians whose efforts and sacrifices have protected the right of expression and sanctity of speech in the beloved country,” the Speaker expressed these views during his speech to the Convention of Parliamentarians held in connection with Diamond Jubilee Celebration of 1st constituent Assembly in National Assembly Hall on Saturday.

He said that Parliament is the only source of all powers and authority in the country. He said that this House is also the source of all power. He also said that authority and law originate from this house. He also said that institutions are created by this house and the decision of this Honorable house is the final word in state matters.

He said that the state has entrusted the duty of being a mother to this House and the sanctity, honour and respect of mother is a duty on all of us. He said that this house has witnessed the faces of the creators of the Unanimous Constitution of 1973. This Constitution is the chain of integrity, unity and development of the Federation of Pakistan.

“This is the constitution which the great scholars of their time Maulana Mufti Mehmood, Abdul Wali Khan, Noor Ul Amin, Sher Baz Mazari, Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani, Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, Professor Ghafoor Ahmed, Dr. Abdul Hai Baloch, and leaders of all political schools of thought, including Sardar Shaukat Hayat, leaders outside the assembly including the leaders of democracy, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, Ghous Bakhsh Bizenjo and Abdul Samad Achakzai had full support and patronage for framing of this constitution,” he said.

The Speaker said that we have to be the voice of the people, the nobles, the labourers, the farmers, the traders, the non-Muslim Pakistanis, the women, the youth and our innocent children, the defenders and the practical guarantors of their rights. He said that we should no longer be limited to legislation, but should exercise the right to public representation by effectively using our primary parliamentary oversight function.

He said that thirty-five years ago today, the renowned artist of the country, Saeed Akhtar, was entrusted with the task of creating a portrait of the Quaid-e-Azam for the first directly elected Legislative House. He said that in the shadow of Saeed Akhtar’s artwork, the first directly elected Assembly not only took oath but also made the constitution; the first elected Prime Minister Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Muhammad Khan Junejo also took oath under the same picture in 1977 and 1985 assemblies. He informed that when this new House was built in 1986, that image remained in the State Bank Building itself, which was later destroyed due to the events of time. He said that the National Assembly Secretariat was fighting the case for getting this picture for the last 12 years which finally succeeded after he became Speaker and under his personal supervision this picture was restored not only with the advice of Saeed Akhtar but finally after thirty five years. He said that the original picture has been re-displayed in this esteemed House. He was especially invited to the convention today to acknowledge his services, he said.

Former and present Parliamentarians, renowned politicians, leaders of political parties and women parliamentarians attended the convention.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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