President Asif Zardari to address Parliament today

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari is scheduled to deliver the inaugural address of the parliamentary year following the February 8 general elections, during a joint session of parliament on Thursday.

Convened by the president using the authority granted in Articles 54 (1) and 56 (3) of the Constitution, the session will begin at 4 pm. This marks President Zardari’s seventh address to the joint session of parliament, having previously done so six times during his earlier tenure as the country’s head of state from 2008 to 2013.

Additionally, the president has also summoned NA session on Friday (tomorrow) at 10:30 am in exercise of the powers conferred to him under Article 54 (1) of the Constitution.

Earlier, the joint session was convened on April 16 but was rescheduled for today.

It should be noted that this will be the first joint session following the start of the new parliamentary year in the country after both the upper and lower House members were elected.

Despite elections taking place on February 8 and former president Arif Alvi still in office, he was unable to summon a joint session as elections in the Senate were yet to be conducted.

Previously, Alvi had summoned a joint session of the parliament on October 6, 2022 — months after a coalition government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was governing the centre.

However, the then-president had called the session to mark the beginning of the last parliamentary year of the then-National Assembly in 2022.

Today’s session is likely to feature a strong reaction from the opposition benches, having a significant number of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) members, who have recorded strong protests in the previous sessions as well.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly Secretariat has invited the chief justice of Pakistan, governors and chief ministers of all the provinces, including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Additionally, several senior officials and officeholders including the Pakistan Army’s chairman joint chiefs of staff committee (CJCSC), the three services chiefs, speakers, deputy speakers of all provincial assemblies, legislative assembly of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan have also been invited to attend the joint session.


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