Need for consensus on legislation


IT seems the Government has completed its homework to get all controversial bills passed in the forthcoming joint session of Parliament.

As Prime Minister Imran Khan held a marathon session with representatives of the allied parties to muster their support for the legislative agenda, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry told newsmen that 30 bills including the one on electoral reforms would be presented before the joint session of Parliament.

According to the official version of the meeting of the leaders of the allied parties with the Prime Minister, all of them expressed full confidence in the leadership and policies of Prime Minister Imran Khan, which clearly means the Government would not face any worthwhile difficulty in making all the bills acts of parliament.

No one would disagree with the objective of making the electoral process ‘transparent’ as has been claimed by the Information Minister but the modus operandi used to achieve this objective is not appreciable.

The policy of doing legislation especially with respect to ticklish issues at the strength of the majority numerical superiority is unlikely to produce the desired results and the controversy would, most probably, remain there.

Similarly, the Government has made unilateral amendments in the accountability law through ordinances, which are being objected to by not just the opposition but also sagacious elements of the society.

The Government might succeed in its legislative plans but this would strengthen the allegation that the electoral reforms together with some particular amendments in the NAB law are aimed at squeezing the opposition and harming it politically ahead of the next general election.

Under these circumstances, the Government might consider reviewing its policy and take advantage of the time available in-between to engage the opposition meaningfully with a view to developing consensus on the controversial legislation.

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