Senate moves against barred person holding party office

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Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

The Senate on Wednesday passed a substantive motion stating that a person who cannot become a member of the parliament should not become an office bearer of any political party.
The motion, presented by Leader of Opposition Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, pointed out that an unelected person someone who has given up Pakistani citizenship, who is declared to be of an unsound mind or otherwise disqualified from holding public office by a court, can become the head of party and take decisions. The parliament, thus, is exposed to becoming hostage to a person who himself is barred from entering it, the motion states
Leader of the House, Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, said that a bill regarding the issue had already passed by the Senate, so bringing a motion regarding the same is inappropriate.
Law Minister Zahid Hamid also opposed the motion being put up for debate and said that every person should have the right to choose whoever they want as their leader.
The resolution passed with 52 senators voting in its favour and 28 voting against it.
Last month, the Senate defeated an amendment to the Elections Act 2017 with a single vote margin, paving the way for Nawaz Sharif to return as the party President after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court to be a member of the parliament.
Ahsan also demanded that a committee should be formed to investigate the alleged Intelligence Bureau (IB) list of lawmakers with links to terrorist organizations. “I do not accept that the letter is fake,” he said, adding that the issue required investigation since two senators had also been named in the list.
IB and the government have denied the existence of any such list