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Opposition closes ranks against govt in Senate

Opposition proposes tabling no-trust motion against Senate chairman

Opposition parties have united against the government in the Senate too and announced bringing a white paper while strongly protesting against the attitude of the Senate chairman.

A meeting of parliamentary leaders of opposition parties was held on Monday during which serious concerns was expressed over the behavior of Senate chairman with the opposition parties and a few members even suggested tabling a no-trust move against him immediately.

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Talking to media men after the meeting, PML-N Senator Irfan Siddiqui and PPP Senator Taj Haider said the senators exploded in Monday’s Senate session against the behavior of Senate chairman. They said opposition’s questions are disposed of in the chamber and no reason is given. The duo stated that “we are collecting all the details against the behavior of chairman Senate because some of the opposition members are not afforded the opportunity to speak in the House. A white paper will be worked out in the form of a memorandum, which will be presented by us to the chairman. We will request him to improve his attitude”.

They said that leniency was shown to the government in Senate on several occasions and warned that “one-sided attitude of the chairman Senate will not be tolerated now”. They said it has been decided that the opposition parties will become more active in Senate now. “We will counter government highhandedness in unison. The opposition will forge a joint strategy inside the parliament,” they said.

The Senate on Monday unanimously passed a resolution recommending the government to explore alternate methods, including the rainwater harvest system, on priority and to take necessary steps to bridge the growing demand and supply gap of water in the federal capital. In her resolution, Senator Seemee Ezdi expressed concern over the poor water distribution and management system, scarcity of potable water and depleting capacity of Simly and Khanpur dams.

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The House also adopted another resolution moved by Senator Shahadat Awan, asking ministries/divisions to immediately publish their respective updated laws, rules and regulations on their websites for the use of general public.

Senate passed three bills, including the Guardians and Wards (Amendment) Bill 2020, which gives mothers the right to the custody of minor children in case of separation between the parents. Senator Farooq Hamid Naek moved the bill to amend the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 [The Guardians and Wards (Amendment) Bill, 2020, saying that although superior courts were already extending the right of custody to mothers but it was not in legislative form.

The House also passed the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2021, moved by Senator Shahadat Awan. The amendment would authorize an assistant sub-inspector or equivalent on duty for entry, search, seizure and arrest at a public place. The Bills also aims at separating judiciary from the executive through substitution of the special judicial magistrates with judicial magistrates designated for the trial of petty offences in the summary courts.

Senate also saw the introduction of eight bills which were referred to the relevant committees for further deliberations. The bills are: Prevention and Rehabilitation of Vagrants Bill, 2022, the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the Right to Free and Compulsory Education (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the Public Private Partnership Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022, the Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and the Special Technology Zones Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022.



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