ISLAMABAD: National Assembly (NA) Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said on Thursday they will get a resolution passed through parliament seeking blockage of salaries of PTI MPs for absenting themselves from proceedings.
He said maintaining the quorum in parliament is the responsibility of the government and political parties and he was not in favour of ending the condition of quorum. “Pakistan’s democracy has not reached the level where the condition of maintaining quorum could be removed,” he said while talking informally with newsmen after the workshop of the Parliamentary Reporters Association here on Thursday.
Sadiq said being the custodian of the NA, he gave more time to the opposition and all the members of the house irrespective of their political affiliations and province. “If any member from Balochistan did not want to speak in the house, then I could not force him,” he said.
He said one of the members of the house always wanted to speak prior to the prime minister, the opposition leader and parliamentary leaders. He said there is no rule in the Rules of the National Assembly to turn the house into a House committee to hear public petitions. “If we turn the house into a House Committee, then it will hamper the working of standing committees,” he added.
In reply to another question regarding the absence of PTI House, the NA speaker said he will take up the issue of continuous absence of PTI legislators without leave application and will inform the house as per rules and procedure.
Sadiq said if anyone did not accept him as speaker then he did not take care about this attitude as he was a constitutionally elected speaker. To a question about sending of references to the Election Commission of Pakistan, he said he sent these references after reviewing documents.
He said the issue of not paying allowances to absent MNAs would be decided in the House Business Advisory Committee. To a question regarding Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed’s criticism on him, he said Shiekh Rasheed always hugs him whenever he comes to his chamber but when he was on TV screens he always played opposition.
Earlier addressing the seminar, Minister of State for Information Maryam Aurangzeb said the population census is a big issue of the country as without it the real data of health and education could not achieved.
She said the parliament and media had an important role in achieving the goals of strategic development. She said the polio cases are in rise in the Fata and South Punjab which were conflict zones and polio could be removed from the areas when conflict zones also be ended.
The executive director of PIPS Zafarullah Khan said the imposition of article 6 cannot be imposed on any one in the current status of the democracy but will act as a deterrence in the constitution.
He said there is nothing wrong if any politician emerged from the dictator’s nursery as most of the army general also rise from civilian set like up General Ayub Khan who was a defense Minister emerged from the civilian nursery.
—Originally published The News