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NA speaker says govt working on package for Karachi

Updated January 21, 2019

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Asad Qaiser hints at bringing a constitutional amendment to improve 18th Amendment. ─ File photo
Asad Qaiser hints at bringing a constitutional amendment to improve 18th Amendment. ─ File photo

KARACHI: Expressing the hope that his party would come up to the expectations of the people of Karachi who reposed their confidence in Imran Khan’s leadership, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said on Sunday that providing a solution to the pressing water, sewerage and transport problems of Karachi was the top priority of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.

“A comprehensive package for Karachi is being worked out and its implementation would not only make the megalopolis a city of lights and cradle of peace, but also take care of other issues being confronted by the people,” he said.

The speaker said this while talking to the media after a meeting with federal and provincial lawmakers belonging to his party at the residence of MNA Faheem Khan here.

Rejecting a widely held view that the PTI was against the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, he said: “We are not only in favour of the amendment but would also bring an amendment, if necessary, to improve the 18th Amendment.”

Asad Qaiser hints at bringing a constitutional amendment to improve 18th Amendment

In reply to a question, he said that there was a need to solve problems of public importance between the federation and the provinces on a priority basis through legislation.

The federation, he said, was quite serious in making the provinces totally autonomous for solving all the problems.

Speaker Qaiser said that the solution of problems of the people lay in strengthening of the parliament and for the purpose of legislation members had to rise above their party affiliations to carry out house business in accordance with the Constitution.

He said no political party had the right to cross the parliamentary limits.

He said that all parties ought to take care of their mandate because the affairs of the government could run through mutual consultation that was why the opposition and the government had to work with each other as any legislation could not be possible on anyone’s whims.

When asked about the issue of extension in the tenure of military courts, Mr Qaiser said that the government would take the opposition on board on the issue.

In reply to another question, the NA Speaker said all parties had to join hands in the interest of Pakistan and the house business had to be run in accordance to the parliamentary traditions and rules of business.

He said it was the collective responsibility of all members to take care of the sanctity and respect of the house.

He also said that the “state of Madina is a model for us” and legislation would be carried out in view of this model.

In reply to another question, he said that having reserved seats for women in parliament was a right step in the right direction and he would like to empower them further to play more effective role in the house.

He also said that further promotion of coordination between the national and provincial assemblies was necessary for smooth working.

He said the present assembly would fulfil its basic responsibility of legislation and in this connection opposition parties had also assured of their full cooperation to the government. “The opposition parties are keen to see that the incumbent government would complete its constitutional tenure,” he said.

Earlier, the MNAs and MPAs of the PTI exchanged views with the speaker on the political and economic situation as well as other affairs of mutual interest.

Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2019