Absentee MNAs

IN parliamentary system, election of the leader of the House is such an important occasion that the lawmakers ensure their presence in the House at all costs while leaving aside their other engagements but it is lamentable that same is not the case in Pakistan. Though our political leaders never get tired of speaking highly about democratic set-up but practically and through their conduct they give least respect to it.
We say so as thirty-five lawmakers were absent from the National Assembly session on Tuesday, which was only convened with the single point agenda i.e. election of the interim Prime Minister. Amongst the prominent who did not attend the session and naturally could not cast their votes in favour of their candidates included PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Jehangir Tareen while twelve members from the ruling PML-N including Hamza Shahbaz Sharif could not cast their vote as they reached after the voting process. This speaks volume of interest and seriousness of our political leaders whom we greatly adore and hold at high esteem but they seldom care for parliamentary norms and traditions. Especially for the ruling party, the top leadership should have issued directions to all its MNAs to ensure their presence in the House as addition of twelve votes would have further improved its candidate’s tally. The same was for the opposition parties. While addressing the lower house after being elected, interim PM Shahid Khaqan Abbassi was very pertinent in saying that the parties will have to work together to restore sanctity of the house. For that to happen all members should ensure their presence and fully participate in the proceedings of the house on which millions of rupees from the national exchequer are spent. The people elect their representatives so that they could raise their grievances at the floor of the house and also carry out legislation for their well-being. If we really want to take forward the country, our lawmakers while rising above their vested interests will have to fulfil their national responsibilities.

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