ISLAMABAD: With the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) up in arms, a controversial bill to postpone local elections in the federal capital passed the Senate on Friday in a very short session. An hour after the National Assembly approved it.
The main point of the agenda, the “situation arising out of the recent wave of terrorism in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the overall law and order situation in the country”, was not discussed at all as the only work done by the upper house was introduction. The adoption of the Islamabad Capital Territory Local Government Amendment Bill was placed on the agenda.
According to standard practice, the bill, which was not even submitted to the relevant standing committee, was repeatedly warned by the opposition to Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, saying that the number of members of the assembly was too small.
Under this legislation, the number of trade union councils in Islamabad will be increased from 101 to 125, and the mayor and deputy mayor will be directly elected.
Law Minister Shahadat Awan objected to the way Leader of the Opposition Dr Shahzad Wasim convened the session before introducing the bill and pointed out that even the members were not briefed enough. – What was the need to urgently announce the meeting? he asked from the chair.
When the Leader of the Opposition called for an end to ambushes in Parliament, Mr. Sanjrani said the House had been called on a request for a treasury bench, prompting vociferous protests from PTI members. Chanting slogans against the coalition government, they gathered near their leader’s podium and unfurled a copy of the agenda, which included the recent spate of terrorism and the general breakdown of law and order in the country. Security personnel from the Senate Secretariat then gathered at the main exit and separated the treasury and opposition chairs to prevent any clashes.
Raising slogans like “Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has run away” and “Don’t run away from elections”, PTI senators raised the issue of attendance. However, they can point to attendance issues only from their seats, asked Mr. Sanjrani.
PTI members except Faisal Javed and then quorum members were taken out of the house for a few minutes after the census found only 22 of the 100 members present in the house and the chairman was not present in the house. order. Interestingly, the quorum bell rang for three minutes and the chairman announced that the quorum would be held with at least 25 members even though there were 24 members.
Senator Sherry Rehman, minister for climate change, urged the assembly to discuss laws and regulations and asked the Speaker to discuss government bills, while Mr. Sanjrani asked the treasury chair to move the Islamabad Local Government Amendment Bill. by a majority of 24-12. But after the passage of the bill, when the leader asked the opposition whether they would discuss the law and order bill, no one answered amid the vociferous protest.
Speaking on the occasion, Senator Rehman said that the opposition PTI was not interested in discussing the growing terrorism in the country and added that it should be investigated who is conspiring against Pakistan and who is leading it from the issue.
Mr. Sanjrani postponed the house’s sine die as PTI lawmakers continued their protest and raised slogans against the PDM government’s attempt to avoid local polls in Islamabad a week later.
A few hours later, former senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar tweeted [PDM] He was so afraid of the public backlash that they hastily amended the law to postpone the local elections in Islamabad without even a quorum. “If this is the state of the government ending in Faizabad, what will be the fate of other countries,” he wrote.
“Despite hasty objections from the opposition, the amendment bill in the Senate session [is] Another attempt by PDM government to avoid elections,” PTI said on its official Twitter handle. “Dodging elections is an admission of defeat by DP. PDM may now have a majority in Parliament, but PTI [popular] in every street and neighborhood,” he added.
Posted on December 24, 2022 at dawn