Parliamentary technicalities lurking as controversy deepens | Pakistan Today

Parliamentary technicalities lurking as controversy deepens

Parliamentary technicalities appear to be the major reason for a weeks-long confrontation between the PPP-led proponents and PML-F-led opponents of the Sindh People Local Government Ordinance 2012 (SPLGO 2012), the disputed piece of law that turned the Sindh Assembly into a fish market on Monday.
As opposition parties including the PML-F, the PML-Q, the PML likeminded, the ANP and the NPP went on an unprecedented rampage in the provincial legislature against the SPLGO 2012, their counterparts in the PPP enjoyed referring to technical grounds on which the opposition supported the ordinance they dubbed as a “black law”.
“Technically, I can say, they themselves got the ordinance passed by not sitting on their (allotted) seats despite my repeated requests,” Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Khuhro told reporters after Monday’s session.
The PPP stalwart said he had been asking the opposition side throughout the assembly proceedings to bring their grievances, or amendments for that matter, on record by going back to their seats, but to no avail.
“They did not bring their grievances on record,” Khuhro lamented.
He said he did not buy the impression that the “anti-Sindh” law was formulated overnight and then passed in the provincial legislature within minutes by the PPP and the MQM without taking other stakeholders on board.
“I don’t buy this. We have several past examples when the assembly session was summoned on a one-day notice. Some of them were then the sitting ministers why did not they object,” he asked.
On the other hand, the opposition parties felt that the PPP had tricked them using “parliamentary techniques” like not putting their proposed pieces of legislation on the orders of the day for Monday.
Asked to respond to Khuhro’s reference to technical mistakes committed by his side during Monday’s sitting, Arif Mustafa Jatoi of the NPP termed the impression misleading.
“Incorrect,” he told Pakistan Today. The NPP leader said he had submitted a resolution to reject the SPLGO 2012 that was never included on the agenda for Monday’s sitting. “It was not even put on the agenda. A violation of assembly rules,” said Jatoi.
Jatoi claimed to have submitted the resolution two weeks ago. “It should have been listed in assembly agenda. It being taken up or not is a secondary issue”.
Reasoning the PPP’s alleged manoeuvring of the parliamentary techniques, the NPP leader said his move was not listed on the agenda because “I would have (then) asked for voting by division and the PPP and the MQM would have been walking out the same door”.
Referring to another technicality, the NPP lawmaker said the speaker had himself gone against the “parliamentary tradition” by not responding positively to his side’s application for the allotment of opposition benches.
“We have also applied for opposition seats which the speaker is bound to comply with but he is refusing again against the parliamentary tradition,” he said.
Asked to what extent his side might be going in opposition to the disputed ordinance, Jatoi said next on his side’s agenda was “to get us seats on the opposition side”.

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