NA session starts today ‘to discuss post-budget situation’

Updated July 16, 2019

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The National Assembly session has been summoned by Speaker Asad Qaiser in response to the requisition notice that had been submitted by the PML-N members on July 2 “to discuss the post-budget situation” in the country and the recent arrest of party’s Punjab president and MNA Rana Sanaullah.   — APP/File
The National Assembly session has been summoned by Speaker Asad Qaiser in response to the requisition notice that had been submitted by the PML-N members on July 2 “to discuss the post-budget situation” in the country and the recent arrest of party’s Punjab president and MNA Rana Sanaullah. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Two weeks after approving the federal budget, the National Assembly is meeting on Tuesday (today) on the requisition of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), according to an official announcement issued by the NA secretariat here on Monday.

The session has been summoned by Speaker Asad Qaiser in response to the requisition notice that had been submitted by the PML-N members on July 2 “to discuss the post-budget situation” in the country and the recent arrest of party’s Punjab president and MNA Rana Sanaullah.

The requisition notice carrying signatures of 92 opposition members had been submitted to the NA secretariat by former deputy speaker and PML-N MNA from Abbottabad Murtaza Javed Abbasi under Article 54(3) of the Constitution hours after a district court in Lahore sent Rana Sanaullah to jail on judicial remand in a narcotics case involving some proscribed organisations.

The firebrand MNA and former home minister of Punjab had been arrested by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) personnel from the motorway when he was on his way to Lahore from his hometown Faisalabad on July 1.

The requisition notice stated that “a session of the National Assembly be convened to discuss the effects of the budget on the common man and the economy” and “repression of political leaders, including Rana Sanaullah Khan, MNA, to stop them from raising their voice for the people of Pakistan”.

Under the Constitution, the speaker was bound to summon the session of the assembly within 14 days of the receipt of the requisition notice. The speaker has convened the session on the last day of the deadline.

The National Assembly which had met for 20 days to discuss and approve the federal budget last month had been prorogued by the speaker on June 29 with the speech of Prime Minister Imran Khan in which he had thanked the party legislators and allies for their support in the passage of the budget and had lashed out at the opposition for calling him “selected PM”.

Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House on Monday, PML-N’s parliamentary leader Khawaja Asif said they would raise the issue of “political prisoners” during the requisitioned session, starting from Tuesday.

The parliamentary leader said that after the removal of the accountability judge over the video scandal, there was no legal and constitutional justification for keeping PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif in jail.

Meanwhile, the NA Secretariat on Monday issued a lengthy 152-point agenda for the assembly sitting on Tuesday, which is a private member’s day.

The agenda includes two calling-attention notices on the issues of “diversion of Neelum River for commissioning of the Neelum-Jhelum hydroelectric project due to which approximately 90pc part of the river dried up and business of the locals affected” and “practice of quackery throughout the country resulting in increase in the cases of hepatitis”.

The agenda also includes introduction of a record 61 private member’s bills, besides presentation of four bills for passage.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2019