ISLAMABAD: Taking a significant and positive step, the government has decided to live telecast the proceedings of the parliamentary committees, including the powerful Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
In this regard, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has written a letter to National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, suggesting him to finalise “an appropriate mechanism and parameters” for the live telecast of the meetings of standing and functional committees of the lower house of parliament.
The standing committees are considered to be an essential and vital part of the parliament where the members belonging to all the parties having representation in the parliament get an opportunity to have a threadbare discussion on the draft laws and other issues referred to it after their presentation in the two houses of parliament — the National Assembly and the Senate.
In his letter to the speaker which was released to the media by Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb, the prime minister, while highlighting the importance of the committees, has stated that with this decision, the people will get awareness about the functioning of the two houses of the parliament. Besides, Mr Sharif said the masses would also come to know about the importance of the parliament’s standing committees and they would know as to how a law got final shape in the light of difference of opinion and how the members expressed their views and dissent.
Writes to NA speaker, asks him to finalise ‘mechanism’ at earliest
The prime minister was of the view that this step would be a part of the “learning process at the national level” and the people would come to know that how consensus was reached on different matters.
“I hope these efforts will not only increase prestige of the parliament, but will create awareness among the people, particularly the youth, about the Constitution, their rights, the importance of parliament and its performance in the democratic system,” wrote Mr Sharif.
The prime minister termed the decision to live telecast the meetings of the committees as the “second phase” of the process that was initiated by the previous government of the PML-N under Nawaz Sharif by launching a new TV channel with the name PTV Parliament. He alleged that the PTI government had halted the process and called for initiating it at the earliest.
Mr Sharif said former speaker Ayaz Sadiq in coordination with Marriyum Aurangzeb, who was the information minister under the previous PML-N government as well, had started the process of telecasting the parliament’s proceedings for general public in a very appreciable manner. This step, he said, was much-appreciated and welcomed by masses, journalists and people from other segments of life.
In his letter, Mr Sharif praised Raja Pervaiz Ashraf declaring him “a political worker and an important leader of the party, which had achieved the distinction of making Constitution, was well aware of the importance of the constitution and the parliament.”
Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2022