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ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges discussed the proposed amendment to Rule 9 and insertion of Fourth Schedule in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012 that deals with disputes related to Senate elections.

The committee met with Senator Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo in the chair at the Parliament house on Friday. The meeting was attended by senators, Zarqa Suharwardi Taimur, Irfan ul Haque Siddiqui, Mian Raza Rabbani, Dr Asif Kirmani, Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, and Ali Zafar, and senior officers of the ministries and departments concerned such as the Ministry of Law, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), and the Islamabad Police.

Issues taken up entailed further consideration of the proposed amendment in Rule 9 and insertion of Fourth Schedule in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012 that deals with disputes related to Senate elections with regards to Chairman and Deputy Chairman. The amendment to Rule 9 and insertion of Fourth Schedule in the Rules of Procedure moved by Senator Raza Rabbani.

The Committee also discussed the privilege motion moved by Senator Nyazee against the FIA and the Islamabad Police for raiding his house and causing harassment to his wife and daughters. Chairman Committee Senator Tahir Bizenjo while condemning the act in the strictest terms stressed the need to end the cycle of political victimization. It was asserted that no malicious activity must be carried out against any representative of the people. This, agreed all members, was a grievous breach of privilege.

While consideration of the proposed amendment in Rule 9 and insertion of Fourth Schedule in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012, the committee was informed that this amendment was intended to remove Rule 9 completely.

It was stressed that disputes in the Senate must be resolved within the House and the appellate system must be improved.

The Ministry of Law opined that in case of the amendment Article 69 cover will be removed from officers and officials of the Senate. The committee was of the view that a system must be formulated that would allow outgoing senators from three major parties to nominate sitting members to form a committee to resolve disputes of this kind.

However, the matter being taken up by the Senate Standing Committee on Interior Committee was a breach of privilege of this committee, the sole mandate of which is to address related issues.

Members asserted that the matter is to be taken to the chairman Senate who will decide the jurisdiction under Rule 264 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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