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Caretakers to taste accountability

April 14, 2013

Caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan (retired) Justice Mir Hazar Khan Khoso.—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The country’s main political parties taking part in the May 11 elections will get the first opportunity to make the caretaker prime minister and his cabinet team accountable for their acts when the Senate goes into session on Monday (tomorrow).

Having no friends in the house, the caretaker ministers can face a difficult time in the Senate where there will be no concept of the treasury and opposition benches in the absence of an elected government.

A veteran Senator, when contacted, said that technically speaking there would be no leader of the house and no opposition leader in the Senate when it would meet. He said the leader of the house was normally appointed by the prime minister to represent him in the upper house of parliament.

Answering a question, he said the present leader of the house, Jahangir Badr, could not defend the acts of the caretaker government since he was made a senator on the PPP ticket and his party was contesting the May 11 elections.

He, however, said the house could elect its leader of the house or the parliamentary leader to represent them and formally convey their sentiments to the caretaker government. He said that under the constitution, the caretaker government was fully answerable to the Senate like any elected government. Even caretaker Prime Minister retired Justice Mir Hazar Khan Khoso could attend the session and respond to the Senators’ queries.

The Senate Secretariat on Saturday issued a 15-point agenda for the Monday’s session that included introduction of two bills, five motions and six resolutions.

The Awami National Party (ANP) and the PPP have already announced that they would seek a clarification from Interior Minister Malik Habib Khan on his controversial remarks in which he had praised PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif.

The parliamentary reporters and experts are keen to watch the reaction of the PML-N in the Senate when this issue would be raised by the two former ruling coalition partners.