ISLAMABAD: Amid an opposition protest and walkout, the treasury benches bulldosed a bill to set up the “Capital University of Science and Technology” in Islamabad.

A report followed by the presentation of the bill for the university was introduced by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) dissident lawmaker Gulzar Khan, the chairman of the standing committee on federal education and professional training.

Interestingly, the opposition protest and walkout were led by PTI MNA on reserved seat Dr Shireen Mazari. Her call for protest was also supported by the legislators of the MQM and PPP.

Dr Mazari’s main concern was that members of the house must be given time to get their input. “You are presenting this report of the standing committee right now and at the same time the bill for the university. This is against the basics of the parliamentary proceedings.”

A senior member of the PPP, Naveed Qamar, supported Dr Mazari’s contention that MNAs must be given time to go through the reports of the standing committees.

“I am unable to understand the urgency behind setting up of this university. A delay of a week or so in presenting the bill wouldn’t have caused any damage.”

In response, Mr Gulzar, one of the three MNAs who had been disowned by their own party (PTI), said the committee with representation from all the parliamentary parties had unanimously endorsed the report for the university.

Minister for parliamentary affairs Sheikh Aftab agreed to postpone the bill, however, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq asked Mr Khan to go ahead with its presentation.

Soon after the speaker allowed the presentation of the bill, the PTI, MQM and the PPP staged a walkout and stayed outside the house until the bill was clause-wise passed with a majority vote.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2015

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