ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi has summoned joint session of the parliament on October 6 (tomorrow) to address both houses — Senate and National Assembly.

According to a notification issued by the President House, the session has been called in line with articles 54(1) and 56(3) of the Constitution.

The president has summoned the session on the recommendation of the federal government, it added.

The mandatory address of the president to the joint sitting of the parliament became due since the start of the National Assembly’s parliamentary year on August 14.

Article 56(3) of the Constitution states: “At the commencement of the first session after each general election to the National Assembly and at the commencement of the first session of each year, the president shall address both Houses assembled together and inform the Majlis-i-Shoora (parliament) of the causes of its summons”.

Earlier, NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf had already adjourned the joint sitting of parliament twice, without assigning any reason.

As per the tradition, the president, in his address highlights the performance of the incumbent government. The speech is prepared by the government.

However, this will be a tricky situation for President Alvi, who belongs to the PTI, as he has to highlight the achievements of the current PML-N government during the past four months, along with the eight-month performance of his party.

Officials have said as per the past practice, letters were sent to all the ministries to apprise the president of their performance during the previous parliamentary year.

The speech, they said, has been prepared after receiving thier inputs.

Giving his opinion on the matter, Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Raza Rabbani said it has been a tradition in parliamentary democracies that the president delivers the speech provided to him by the sitting government.

However, he added that the president could amend the text without changing the context.

Since this was merely a tradition, a number of former presidents in the past had preferred to deliver their own written speeches, said Mr Rabbani.

Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2022

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