Govt move to set up body on French envoy’s ouster flops

Published April 26, 2021
PPP secretary general Farhatullah Khan Babar said the party leaders after deliberating on the matter had decided to support the stance taken by other opposition parties. — DawnNewsTV/File
PPP secretary general Farhatullah Khan Babar said the party leaders after deliberating on the matter had decided to support the stance taken by other opposition parties. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: The government’s move to form a special parliamentary committee on the issue of French envoy’s expulsion from Pakistan seems to have fizzled out as after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has also opposed the idea and called for a full-fledged debate in the National Assembly on the Namoos-i-Risalat issue.

“The PPP does not support the idea of formation of any special committee and believes that the debate on the issue must be held in the National Assembly after converting it into a committee of the whole house,” PPP secretary general Farhatullah Khan Babar said while talking to Dawn here on Sunday.

Mr Babar said the party leaders after deliberating on the matter had decided to support the stance taken by other opposition parties, including the PML-N and the JUI-F, that there was no need for the formation of any special committee and every member should be allowed to speak on the matter which was sensitive in nature.

The PPP, which had recently parted ways with the 10-party opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), had boycotted the National Assembly’s sitting on April 20 when the government through its MNA from Mianwali Amjid Ali Khan had managed to present a private resolution in the house, seeking a debate on the issue of the French ambassador’s expulsion from the country over the publication of blasphemous caricatures in his country.

PPP follows suit after PML-N, JUI-F opposed the idea

Soon after the presentation of the resolution by the mover, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan had moved a motion authorising Speaker Asad Qaiser to constitute a special committee of the house comprising members of all parties in proportion to their strength in the assembly for further deliberations on the resolution.

The speaker, however, had not put the resolution for a vote after the PML-N and JUI-F members lodged a strong protest over the government’s move to bring it to the house without prior consultation with them and demanded a full-fledged debate on the issue of Namoos-i-Risalat (the sanctity of the Prophet).

The PPP’s boycott decision had been announced by party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari through his social media account on Twitter in which he had criticised the government for not taking parliament into confidence on the issue at any stage and accused the prime minister of “hiding behind the assembly”.

The assembly had also witnessed rowdyism when the PML-N and JUI-F members gathered in front of the speaker’s dais to protest his act of approving a motion moved by the minister to authorise the speaker to constitute the special parliamentary committee.

The opposition members had demanded that the government should present the agreement it had signed with the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan before the house and those ‘responsible for the bloodshed’ in the country must also be identified. The PML-N had also blasted the government for not ‘owning’ the resolution, saying that it should have been tabled by a government minister instead of a ‘private member’.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

UNGA speech
25 Sep, 2022

UNGA speech

CRISES test a nation’s resilience but also provide opportunities to rise and move forward. Prime Minister Shehbaz...
Dar’s return
Updated 25 Sep, 2022

Dar’s return

Dar will now be expected by his party to conjure up fiscal space for the govt to start spending ahead of the next elections.
Iran hijab protests
25 Sep, 2022

Iran hijab protests

FOR over a week now, Iran has been witnessing considerable tumult after a young woman died earlier this month in the...
Post-flood economy
Updated 24 Sep, 2022

Post-flood economy

WITH a third of the country — especially Sindh and Balochistan — under water, over 33m people displaced, and...
Panadol shortage
24 Sep, 2022

Panadol shortage

FROM headaches to fever to bodily pain — paracetamol is used ubiquitously in Pakistan as the go-to remedy for most...
Star-struck cops
24 Sep, 2022

Star-struck cops

IN this age of selfies and social media, it is easy to get carried away in the presence of famous people, even if ...