ISLAMABAD: Legislators belonging to the ruling Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Monday objected to the presence of former PPP senator Farhatullah Babar at a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights.
Mr Babar, who has wide experience in the field of human rights, also attended a meeting of the committee last month.
Despite the fact that his nameplate was available on the desk, Mr Babar opted to sit on the back benches where anyone can sit without invitation.
On Monday, Mr Babar again reached the meeting and rather than sitting on the chairs went to the seats placed in the rear and sat there.
PTI legislator Fauzia Behram asked why Mr Babar was invited to the meeting. She suggested that Babar Awan should have been invited.
However, committee chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said there was nothing wrong as he had called Mr Babar as a special invitee.
Another PTI legislator Shunila Ruth also said Mr Awan should have been invited to the meeting.
Mr Bilawal suggested a voting to know how many members wanted to call Mr Babar and how many wanted Mr Awan in the meeting. As many as six members, apart from the chairman, voted in favour of Mr Babar and five raised their hands in support of Mr Awan.
The chairman then announced that he would invite both Mr Babar and Mr Awan to the next meeting.
Most of the participants were seen whispering to each other that the criticism by the PTI lawmakers was a sign of anger over the Iftar dinner hosted by the PPP for the opposition parties on Sunday.
When contacted, Mr Babar said anybody who wanted to attend a meeting of the committee should be welcomed.
Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2019