ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan on Friday said the government would not withdraw any legislation.
Dispelling an impression that the government was withdrawing the legislation after Thursday’s meeting between the opposition and the government, Mr Awan said that the legislation done in parliament was valid, lawful and constitutional and it would not be withdrawn.
“All the bills have been passed as per law despite efforts by the opposition to derail the process. The bills have been referred to the Senate and relevant committees,” the adviser said while speaking at a news conference along with Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib.
The adviser said that parliament had passed 12 bills in one day and 21 legislative instruments the other day, which had been pending with different committees for the last two to three years. “Three bills passed by the parliament are very important for the nation among which one is related to ensuring safety and protection of women in response to the demand emerged after the motorway incident and the other is related to giving right of vote to overseas Pakistanis, in compliance with four different orders of the Supreme Court regarding electoral reforms and giving the right of vote to overseas Pakistanis, he said.
Says all bills were passed as per law despite opposition’s attempt to derail process
Criticising what he called the non-parliamentary behaviour of the opposition, he said that “this is the first-ever opposition which has boycotted the office of the speaker and deputy speaker and the parliamentary committees, closing the doors for any dialogue”.
“The government has always shown seriousness for bringing transparency to elections through the use of Electronic Voting Machine, but the opposition parties were not in favour of EVM,” he said.
Mr Awan said those who had managed thousands of fake votes in their constituencies had fears of their failure in case of holding of transparent elections in the country.
“The election is the matter of nation in terms of determining its future and it is not the matter of a political party or the government,” he said.
Mr Awan said the opposition parties objecting and boycotting the bills had neither read these bills nor suggested any single amendment to them. He said the government would play its role in the committee to be formed for addressing issues of violating ethics and parliamentary traditions in the parliament and opposing legislation.
He claimed that whenever any deadlock appeared, the government always stepped forward and resolved issues.
Criticising the opposition leaders for asking how overseas Pakistanis could understand issues of the country, Mr Awan said: “If Nawaz Sharif sitting abroad can address the Pakistani nation and claim to understand the issues of Pakistan, well then overseas Pakistanis could also know the issues of the country”.
He said the government had always acknowledged the valuable contribution of overseas Pakistanis in terms of remittances and they must be given the right to vote in elections.
Published in Dawn, June 19th, 2021