ISLAMABAD, 19th January 2019: “The Senate of Pakistan has not met for 108 days in any formal, full session. This is an unprecedented gap in the history of Pakistan’s Upper House, which represents in equal measure the interests of the federation. The only session the Senate has had in so many days was on a requisition placed by the joint opposition, and in that too, no government business or resolution or instrument of the Senate was allowed on the agenda,” said PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman.
“As per Article 61 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the Senate is required to meet for not less than 110 days in a parliamentary year. The procedure to call such sessions as per a calendar issued by the Secretariat is entirely the government’s responsibility and duty. Right now the lapse in sessions is so great that the government is already setting new precedents for being in violation of the constitution,” added the Senator.
“Several crises have hit Pakistan in these 108 days but the government as part of a deliberate strategy has decided to paralyse parliament, particularly the Senate where it fears our opposition majority, as it tries to misrule the country by ordinances”, further commented the Vice-President of the PPP.
Rehman said, “This not only creates a disconnect between Pakistan’s parliament and its inherent right to speak, vote and act on public interest issues but also creates a dangerous void in the Constitutional requirement of Senate days”.
“The government, having abandoned the Parliament, is passing one ordinance after the other as it continues doing politics of exclusion. Since having arrived, it has passed 24 ordinances,” asserted the Senator.
“With multiple crises all over the country, including serious ones on economic, constitutional and foreign policy, Pakistan’s parliament is being reduced to zero ,” remarked the former Ambassador of Pakistan to the US.
“With the LOC heating up and Kashmir now in its 135th day of curfew, along with the diplomatic blunders by the incumbent government, it is high time that the government calls the Senate for a full session to both brief and consult with Parliament to avoid further polarisation and instability in Pakistan,” she concluded.