|Rehman Malik’s oath-taking causes uproar in Senate|
28 July 2012
ISLAMABAD: Opposition members in the Senate on Friday lodged a strong protest against the convening of an unscheduled session of the upper house of parliament, saying it had been summoned to facilitate Rehman Malik’s oath taking.
Adviser to the PM on Interior Rehman Malik took oath as a member of the house while Opposition Leader in the Senate Ishaq Dar and other members of the Senate said the government had spent millions of rupees on proceedings only to accommodate Rehman Malik.
Dar and Zafar Ali Shah observed that per day proceedings of the Senate cost Rs17 million to the national exchequer and the government would now continue the session till next Friday only to negate the impression that it had been called to facilitate the oath taking of Rehman Malik.
Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, JUI-F’s parliamentary leader in the Senate, said the expenses of Friday’s proceedings should be taken from Senator Rehman Malik. However, Jahangir Badr, leader of the house in the Senate, said the house would also discuss the Balochistan situation during the ongoing session, besides completing the debate on the presidential address to the joint sitting of parliament.
On a point of order‚ Farhatullah Babar of the PPP voiced concern over remarks of the judges about parliament. He said the judiciary should exercise restraint by keeping in view its jurisdiction. “Although, the remarks have been given about the opposition, the opposition is also part of parliament,” he added.
Babar said parliament had tolerated it when the ruling of the National Assembly speaker was overturned and when the Supreme Court registrar refused to appear before the Public Accounts Committee, while the record of parliamentary proceedings was provided when asked by the apex court. He said the record reflected that parliament had showed great maturity and restraint in its conduct as far as relations with the judiciary were concerned. “This was also demonstrated by promptly accepting the judiciary’s views in the matter of the appointment of judges at the time of the 18th Amendment and also in handing over of the record of parliamentary proceedings when asked for by the court.”
Babar said the judiciary must be on perpetual guard and resist going beyond its proper bounds. “Awesome powers in the hands of the judiciary have placed on it awesome responsibilities and the judiciary is the only institution to make this determination,” he said.
Senator Aajiz Dhamra of the PPP said the judges were trying to infuriate the opposition on the issue of the contempt of court bill.On points of order from senators Ishaq Dar and Zafar Ali Shah, Law Minister Farooq H Naik agreed that a fresh notification for the leader of the house was required. Opposition members were of the view that a fresh notification of the leader of the house should be issued.
Senate Chairman Nayyar Hussain Bokhari suspended the Question-Hour to complete the debate on the presidential address during the ongoing session. The house also decided to dedicate three days for discussion on the Balochistan situation.
APP adds: Opposition members in the Senate on Friday raised questions on the eligibility of the leader of the house, Jehangir Badr, after the disqualification of Yusuf Raza Gilani.PML-N’s Senator Zafar Ali Shah raised the issue, saying after the Supreme Court’s verdict, it needed to be clarified whether Jehangir Badr was still the leader of the house. But responding to Shah’s comments, Badr said he enjoyed the confidence of the majority of members, so he was the leader of the house.
Zafar Ali Shah referred to constitutional technicalities and mentioned that the leader of the house in the Senate was notified by the prime minister as his representative in the upper house. Law Minister Farooq H Naek assured him that he would look into the matter and said if a notification was required, it would be taken care of.
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