Govt agrees to hold debate on controversial bills, opposition to withdraw no-trust motion

Updated November 15, 2019

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Defence Minister Pervez Khattak speaks on the National Assembly floor. — DawnNewsTV
Defence Minister Pervez Khattak speaks on the National Assembly floor. — DawnNewsTV

National Assembly was full of surprises on Friday as the opposition agreed to withdraw a no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri while the government agreed to hold a debate on the ordinances that were previously bulldozed through the parliament.

PML-N stalwart Khawaja Asif — who had yesterday accused the government of "playing with Nawaz Sharif's life" — said today that the opposition will withdraw the no-confidence motion that was submitted by the opposition against Suri last week. The motion was submitted after Suri refused to listen to opposition parties' protest as the government passed 11 ordinances without holding a debate.

Asif, while speaking in the assembly today, said that it had been agreed that the controversial bills will be withdrawn and sent back to parliamentary committees.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Swati said that the bills that were passed and ordinances tabled in the assembly on November 7 will be presented in the parliament again for debate and a consensus will be developed. He added that a debate will be held on the controversial ordinance, which dissolved the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council and paved the way for the establishment of Pakistan Medial Commission.

Swati told the House that the government and opposition had agreed that Letters of Administration and Succession Certificates Ordinance, 2019, Enforcement of Women's Property Rights Ordinance, 2019, Legal Aid and Justice Authority Ordinance, 2019, Superior Courts (Court Dress and Mode of Address) Ordinance, 2019, will be withdrawn and passed on the day of withdrawal, APP reported.

Benami Transaction (Prohibition) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and The National Accountability (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will be sent back to the relevant committees, he added.

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said the government had "decided to improve the assembly's atmosphere".

Ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Asad Umar lauded opposition's decision to withdraw the no-trust motion against Suri and said: "All of us have come here (in the assembly) from the public's vote and we should focus on solving the people's problems."

He added: "Legislation done by committees is more effective. After five years, people will say that Speaker Asad Qaiser strengthened this House."

Meanwhile, MQM lawmaker Aminul Haq urged the government to allow former premier Nawaz to leave the country for medical treatment. Grand Democratic Alliance's Ghous Bux Khan Mahar seconded Haq's demand and said that the government "should not do politics over Nawaz Sharif's health".

He further said that the government's condition for Nawaz to submit an indemnity bond in order to leave was "ridiculous".

Committee demanded to probe suspected child offender's recruitment

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari admitted that the PTI-led Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government should have run a background check before hiring a man, who was recently arrested for raping a minor for four days and filming him, as a consultant for the government.

The suspect — who confessed that he had sexually assaulted 30 children in Pakistan — had served as a consultant for KP Civil Secretariat department and received Rs300,000 per month.

"Who hired [the suspect] and over whose recommendation?" PPP lawmaker Abdul Qadir Patel inquired. He demanded that a committee be formed to look into the matter.

Mazari said that she "condemned the incident", adding that the international organisations refer consultants for projects that are being overseen by them.

The assembly session was adjourned indefinitely.