Govt, opposition reach consensus for smooth functioning of NA session

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Islamabad – Staff Reporter:

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak on Thursday announced that the government and Opposition have reached an agreement to run the National Assembly ‘in an orderly manner’.

The announcement followed days of ruckus and general disorder in the lower house of Parliament as the Treasury and Opposition benches sparred over the federal budget for the 2022 fiscal year.

Flanked by Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Khattak said during his press conference that NA Speaker Asad Qaiser had held a meeting with PTI, PPP and PML-N leaders to discuss the situation.

Khattak regretted that the ruckus in the assembly was not a good omen for the Constitution and democracy and condemned the unfortunate events in the house.

“It is the responsibility of both the Opposition and the government to maintain order in the House. We must respect each other.”

He said Qaiser would announce details of the arrangement later.

Chaudhry meanwhile noted that detailed discussions were held with Opposition leaders on the matter.

“Such an environment should not be created where institutions are made dysfunctional,” he conceded.

The minister said that the meeting had also discussed enhancing the powers of the NA Speaker.

Fawad said that the Opposition’s planned no-trust motion against Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri also came under the discussion and said he hoped that it will be taken back.

“We are not worried about the numbers: 186 members had reposed trust in the speaker and deputy speaker,” he said.

He said the Opposition leader, as well as government members, will talk today without the other side interrupting.

Later, PPP’s Raja Pervez Ashraf said the government has agreed to review the legislation done in haste and in return the Opposition would consider withdrawing the no-confidence motion against Suri.

Meanwhile, PML-N’s Marriyum Aurangzeb said that it is necessary to take back the motion against the deputy speaker if we want to move one against the speaker and discussions are going on in this regard.

Speaker Asad Qaiser had earlier held a meeting with Opposition leaders in order to end the deadlock after three days of pandemonium.

During his meeting with PML-N and JUI-F leaders, Qaiser requested both Opposition and government lawmakers to cooperate in ensuring a peaceful environment in the assembly.

Rana Sanaullah, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Rana Tanveer and Maulana Asad Mehmood were present.

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