PA’s Privilege Committee summons Tarar for ‘breaching’ MPAs’ privilege

The Privilege Committee of the Punjab Assembly has summoned Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Atta Tarar for allegedly breaching the privilege of MPAs, MinuteMirror learnt.

According to reports, the Privilege Committee met at the Punjab Assembly with Chaudhry Ali Akhtar in the chair. The meeting expressed strong resentment against Tarar for not showing up despite being summoned repeatedly.

Sources told this scribe that a suggestion was put forth to issue arrest warrants for Tarar by some members.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers had already submitted a privilege motion against the PM’s aide over an incident a few months ago when the then speaker and now incumbent Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi asked him to leave the house as he wasn’t an MPA.

Tarar was the then-home minister of Punjab and he had refused to leave the house despite being warned by the speaker. “There is a stranger in the house,” the speaker had said and directed the security to oust him from the house.

The speaker had also refused to run the proceedings of the house in the presence of Tarar that day when the Punjab government was supposed to present the provincial budget. After sensing the gravity of the situation, Tarar flipped off the lawmakers and left the house. Subsequently, a privilege motion was filed against him over his “immoral act”.

The government of Hamza Shehbaz was short-lived and Tarar was made the special assistant to the prime minister with the status of a federal minister. He is now holding the portfolio of Narcotics Control as the special assistant to the prime minister.

Speaking to Minute Mirror, PTI’s MPA Sadia Sohail Rana, who is also a member of the Privilege Committee, said: “Tarar was asked to appear before the committee but he did not. “His arrest warrants will be issued if he will fail to turn up in the next sitting,” the PTI’s MPA said, who was the co-mover of the motion. She added that the Privilege Committee will also take action against the then IG, CCPO and the DIG for allegedly breaching the privilege of lawmakers on May 25.

Seasoned lawmaker Mian Shafi Muhammad, who is also a member of the Privilege Committee, told this scribe that they cannot go beyond the law. “We have one representative from the law department and the one from the Punjab Assembly during the meeting of the Privilege Committee to guide us on legal aspects. So, we cannot go beyond the law,” said Mian Shafi, who frequently chairs the sessions of the Punjab Assembly in the absence of the speaker and the deputy speaker.

He added that although the opposition had boycotted the standing committees, one of its members was present in the meeting when the motion against Tarar was taken up.