Islamabad, 8th February 2022: Parliamentary Leader of the PPP in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman addressed the media, along with other members of the Joint Opposition and said, “Question Hour has been made into a travesty by this government, which sends one minister of state, the same one day after day to answer the questions and to respond to every important instrument or issue raised by the opposition. This is unacceptable now because we have repeatedly said this is not the norm nor can we allow this debasement of the Senate the new normal. Until ministers don’t come into the House to respond to issues related to their ministries we are not going to let ourselves be railroaded. Question hour normally is a great opportunity for the Ministers to answer questions, clear any misconceptions and address queries from the Opposition. It is one of the most fundamental tenets of parliamentary democracy that elected officials and civil servants are made answerable to the public – a transparency mechanism that allows for the basic building blocks of governance. However, during the Question Hour in the Senate today, as
many other days there is often no one from the relevant ministries to answer questions .”
She continued, “Such negligence of parliament is unprecedented. It is not acceptable to outsource all parliamentary queries and business to only one Minister. The Opposition has categorically decided that such downgrading is not acceptable and this message needs to be heard loud and clear by the government. The Senate session that is being conducted now without the opposition has no legitimacy, as the Opposition has walked out and rightfully so. This is not only humiliating for the government itself but also a mockery of Parliament. If this procedure is to become the status quo, then let it be known that the Opposition will openly protest against this and not take part in Parliamentary sessions until the very basic fundamentals of democracy are re-established within Parliament.”
She concluded by saying, “Just as they have done today, the government has refused to follow procedure and norms in all of its pursuits. The lack of consensus and the stubbornness to run the government in silos has led the economy to a disastrous state; now we see the plight of the people worsening because the government had to bend to the worst terms of the IMF to bail Itself out, while it still has a ballooning current account deficit and low growth. These issues of national importance must be discussed in Parliament with full answerability, with the participation of the Joint Opposition; otherwise, this Senate can’t go back to ‘Business as Usual.
As you can see the government is now worried because the opposition is now looking at tangible unity and common working roadmaps in parliament. No one has any tolerance left for the havoc PTI is wreaking on Pakistan.”