ISLAMABAD: In the absence of senators belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the Senate on Monday passed a resolution endorsing general elections of all provincial assemblies and the National Assembly simultaneously.

The house passed the resolution, which was not on the order of the day, soon after the PTI staged a token walkout from the house over the rejection of its resolution to revive the previous government’s Ehsaas Rashan Riayat Programme.

However, soon after coming to know about the development, the PTI members returned to the floor only to protest against the passage of the resolution.

At first, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani termed the resolution “unanimous” but later he counted one vote against it after Jamaat-i-Ismali (JI) Senator Mushtaq Ahmed objected that he opposed the resolution.

“This House is of the opinion that, according to the spirit of Article 218 [of the Constitution], the general elections to all the assemblies must be held simultaneously on time under caretaker set-ups under Article 224 with a view to bring true political and economic stability to the country,” read the resolution moved by National Party Senator Tahir Bizenjo.

The resolution signed by the lawmakers of all coalition parties further said that holding separate elections to Punjab assembly will inevitably influence the outcome of general elections as the province was the largest federating unit with more than 50 per cent of the total seats in the of lower house of the parliament.

“As such, it will trample upon the smaller provinces’ role in the Federation.”

After the house passed the resolution, JI Senator Ahmed opposed the move and said the draft has not been shared with the opposition.

Leader of the Opposition Dr Shahzad Waseem made a hard-hitting speech on the passage of the resolution, saying that a crime “has been committed on the floor of the house which is unprecedented in the parliamentary history.”

He said that resolution was passed “secretly in no time” when the PTI was on a token walkout.

Tearing down a copy of the agenda, he said that the treasury has stabled in the back of the opposition and demanded that the resolution should be put to vote again. The chair ruled that the house has already passed the resolution.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Olympics contingent
21 Jul, 2024

Olympics contingent

FROM 10 in Tokyo the last time, it is now down to seven in Paris, and split across just three disciplines. When...
Grave concerns
21 Jul, 2024

Grave concerns

PUNJAB Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz’s open assault on the Supreme Court for ruling in favour of the PTI in the...
Civil unrest
Updated 21 Jul, 2024

Civil unrest

The government must start putting out fires instead of fanning more flames.
Royal tantrum
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Royal tantrum

The PML-N's confrontational stance and overt refusal to respect courts orders on arguably flimsy pretexts is a dangerous sign.
Bangladesh chaos
Updated 20 Jul, 2024

Bangladesh chaos

The unfortunate events playing out in Bangladesh should serve as a warning sign for other South Asian states.
Fitch’s estimate
20 Jul, 2024

Fitch’s estimate

FITCH seems to be more optimistic about Pakistan accelerating its economic growth rate to 3.2pc during this fiscal...