The Senate on Monday dropped OIC's appreciation out of a resolution on post-Pulwama attack developments for its invitation to India to attend OIC Foreign Ministers' Conclave to be held in the UAE next week. The objection over joint resolution's text was raised by former Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani after it was read out by Opposition Leader in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, which the former had done once before over "poor" role of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Pointing out that the Indian foreign minister has been invited as 'guest of honour' at the inaugural session of Foreign Ministers' meet of OIC scheduled to take place next week in Abu Dhabi, Rabbani suggested that appreciation for OIC should be omitted from the text of proposed resolution. He observed that keeping in view Pakistan-India relations, it was inappropriate to extend invitation.
Both Leader of the opposition and leader of the House endorsed the position taken by Rabbani and an amended resolution was subsequently passed by the House.
Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami was of the view that the resolution should include a warning that Pakistan would boycott the conclave, if it was attended by India - a position which was later endorsed by Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of JUI-F.
Senator Sherry Rehman of PPP also criticised the OIC's decision to invite Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj at the inaugural session of the FM's meet as guest of honour and said perhaps OIC relations with Israel are improving.
Another PPP Senator Rehman Malik observed that OIC has become a useless body and is pursuing its own agenda, adding the recent invitation to India to attend the moot in wake Pakistan-India tension is deplorable.
The House through the unanimous resolution strongly condemned premeditated reactions, threats and war hysteria whipped up by India ahead of elections. It also rejected frivolous propaganda campaign launched by India against Pakistan following the attack on the convoy of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Pulwama, Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoK).
The Senate supported government's stance of offering assistance to India in investigations of this attack and to take action on actionable intelligence or evidence and made it clear that no one should underestimate Pakistan's ability and commitment to defend its borders against any external aggression.
It deplored the continued state-sponsored violence orchestrated by the Indian security forces against the Kashmiris in the form of disappearances, stage encounters, rapes, usage of live ammunition and pellet guns and condemned the surge in atrocities perpetrated by India against the Kashmiris within the Indian occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir as well as targeting of Kashmiri students in various parts of India.
A highlight of the day's proceedings was issuance of Senator Kamran Michael's production order issued by Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani. An application to this effect had been moved by Opposition Leader Raja Zafarul Haq under Rule 84 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012.
While announcing his ruling, Sanjrani observed that in terms of relevant provision of the Rules, in issuing a production order the chairman must not act in a routine and mechanical manner but should also examine that why it is "necessary" that a certain member should attend proceedings of the House.
He observed that neither under rules nor by practice, it is mandatory or for granted that production orders have to be issued for each/any member under custody and for every session or business.
The presiding officers had been rejecting requests in many cases/instances and gave rulings justifying decision of not issuing production orders. Likewise the courts have also declared that issuing of production order is not mandatory and only in case the chair considers the presence of the member detained for a particular business or reasons the same can be issued.
The issue of arrest of Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani was also forcefully raised by the opposition lawmakers in the Senate. Rabbani said that speaker of the provincial assembly is elected under Article 108 of the Constitution and that means the speaker of an assembly holds a constitutional office.
He said under Article 7 of the Constitution, which defines state, the assemblies form part of the state. "The speaker is thus custodian of this part of the state and Durrani's arrest was attack on part of the state," he remarked.
He alleged that the government wants to introduce presidential system in the country and an attack on the federal parliamentary system had been launched under a pre-conceived plan.
The way leader of the house talked about arrest of Agha Siraj Durrani, is deplorable, as he never struggled for democracy like his father 'the Great Ahmed' did. He said that the party with which Shibli Faraz is associated, has no struggle for democracy.
"The way this government treated Durrani through NAB is condemnable. He could have been arrested in an honourable manner as he was not a fugitive," he lamented.
He said that the military needs the support of the people so things like this at this stage will not augur well, as the country is passing through a critical juncture. "Tell the Prime Minister [Imran Khan] who is also an interior minister not to do this," he added.
"The Prime Minister, with due apology, does not know anything about traditions as he's a Briton and acts like them, which is not good. My request to leader of the house is: be careful in selection of your words about opposition members," he maintained.
Earlier, the leader of the house said that the arrest of the Speaker of the provincial is not a big deal, as there are corruption allegations against him, adding the arrest of Durrani must not be linked with democracy.