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National Assembly speaker issues Saad Rafique's production orders

Updated December 20, 2018


MNA Saad Rafique is currently under NAB's custody. — File
MNA Saad Rafique is currently under NAB's custody. — File

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Thursday issued production orders of MNA Khawaja Saad Rafique, DawnNewsTV reported.

The orders were issued under Rule 108 of 2007's Rule of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly. According to the rule, the speaker or the head of a committee can issue production orders of a parliamentarian or member of the committee, who is under custody for a non-bailable offence, if his presence is considered necessary.

Rafique, a PML-N parliamentarian, is named in the Paragon Housing scam reference and is currently under the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Lahore. He was arrested by the bureau on Dec 11, along with his brother Salman Rafique, for allegedly receiving "millions of rupees as commission" in the housing scheme scam.

Following the issuance of the production orders, NAB requested an accountability court in Lahore to grant it transit remand so that Rafique can be transferred to Islamabad. The appeal was accepted and the court granted a seven-day transit remand, which ends on Dec 26.

Rafique was subsequently shifted to Parliament Lodges in the capital, where his residence was declared a sub-jail.

The former railways minister will attend the ongoing NA session.

The opposition parties had been demanding the speaker to issue Rafique's production orders since his arrest earlier this month. When the speaker did not comply, the parties registered their protest by repeatedly staging a walkout from the parliament.

The pressure to issue the orders had built up after the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's coalition partners, MQM-P and BNP-Mengal, backed the opposition's demands and considered the parties' protests justified.