NA session adjourned over lack of quorum
ISLAMABAD: The opposition caucus has refused to meet the government delegation over current political situation fueling up in the wake of protests.
The delegation of the government comprising information minister, state minister for interior and other leaders wanted to meet the opposition leaders, but the latter refused to hold a meeting asking why the government adjourned the Friday’s National Assembly session.
The opposition conveyed to the government delegation that the NA session held great importance due to current political tensions, adding that the session was adjourned under a deliberate attempt to prevent discussion on the important mater.
“Now, all the talks will be held in the Parliament and nowhere else,” Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Khursheed Shah conveyed to government through one of the party leaders.
Earlier in the day, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that patience shown by the government should not be misconstrued as its weakness.
The minister said that implementation on Constitution and law was in favour of the public. “We will fulfill this responsibility,” he added.
Chaudhry said that the prime minister was being briefed about the situation in the country. The plot to disrupt important China visit of the PM will fail in the end, said the minister.
In a significant move, the federal government on Thursday decided to deal with the crisis, arising out of Asia Bibi’s acquittal in blasphemy case, in a peaceful manner.
PM Khan had also formed a committee comprising state minister for interior, information minister and foreign minister to look into the matter and devise a strategy to defuse the ongoing political tension.
The National Assembly’s sitting on Friday lasted for only 11 minutes and was adjourned without addressing its scheduled business owing to a lack of quorum.
The sitting started at 11:09 am against the scheduled time of 10:30 am. The deputy speaker presided over the sitting in the absence of the speaker. The Leader of House (Prime Minister) did not attend the sitting since he was on his first official visit to China. The leader of opposition was not present as well. As many as 64 lawmakers (19 per cent) were present at the outset and 51 (15 per cent) at the adjournment of the sitting.
Under the rules, the presence of one-fourth of the members (86) of the 342-member house is required to maintain quorum.
Soon after a recitation from the Holy Quran, Balochistan National Party’s (BNP) Agha Hassan pointed out lack of quorum. Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri subsequently ordered a head count and then adjourned the session till Monday 5:00 pm.
The assembly’s adjournment frustrated the opposition, which had already expressed disappointment on Thursday for PM Khan’s absence from the assembly at a time when the country is facing an abnormal situation due to nationwide protests by religious groups against the Oct 31 Supreme Court verdict in the Aasiya Bibi case.