Elections amendment ordinance tabled in NA

Cabinet approves appointment of Balighur Rehman as Punjab governor

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi on Monday tabled the Elections (Amendment) Ordinance, 2022 in the National Assembly.

He also introduced two bills – the Trade Organizations (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and the Islamabad Capital Territory Forensic Science Agency Bill, 2022 on behalf of Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, respectively.

Moreover, Abbasi presented 10 periodical reports of different standing committees, including that of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice on a bill to amend the National Accountability Ordinance.

The house also passed a bill for the establishment of the Pakistan Global Institute. The bill was presented by Abbasi on behalf of Minister for Education, Professional Training, National Heritage and Culture Rana Tanveer Hussain.

Meanwhile, the federal cabinet on Monday approved the appointment of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s Balighur Rehman as the new governor.

Rehman’s appointment with immediate effect was approved after a summary for the approval was circulated among the ministers, sources said, adding that the required number of ministers for passing the summary has given their consent. “The Cabinet considered the summary dated 23rd May, 2022 submitted by the Cabinet Division, which was circulated in terms of rule 17(1)(b) read with rule 19(1) of the Rules of Business, 1973 for ‘Appointment of Governor of the Punjab’ and approved the appointment of Mr. Baligh Ur Rehman as Governor of the Punjab, with immediate effect,” read a notification of the cabinet’s decision.

Earlier, the federal government had nominated Rehman as the new governor of Punjab and the summary to replace Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Omar Sarfaraz Cheema was sent to President Arif Alvi. However, the president had turned down the summary.

The PML-N-led coalition government had approached the president twice for Cheema’s removal but Alvi not only turned down the summary on both occasions but instructed Cheema to continue holding office until a decision was taken on the summary seeking his removal.

Rehman’s appointment is seen as crucial for Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led government as Cheema has constantly been giving tough time to the Centre since the election of Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz.

A torrent of constitutional and administrative issues has been marring the province for the last couple of months, especially, after the dissident members voted for Hamza and then Cheema refused to administer the oath to the new chief minister. Upon his refusal, Hamza was finally sworn in after the Lahore High Court (LHC) ordered National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to administer oath to Hamza.