Sanity prevails at last

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AFTER three days of free for all proceedings in the National Assembly, sanity seemed to have prevailed as the Government and the Opposition reached an agreement on Thursday to run the Lower House in an orderly manner.

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhary said Speaker Asad Qaisar met with members PTI, PPP and PML(N) and it has been decided that there will be no hooliganism during the session and decent language will be used by members from both sides of the aisle.

This is a welcome development that might help restore the dented image of Parliament, which is otherwise supreme institution of the State.

People look towards Parliament for guidance on different issues and resolution of the problems of the country but regrettably the incumbent Parliament has become almost dysfunctional due to unending tension between the Government and the Opposition.

Apart from the inability to do any meaningful legislation because of lack of trust and understanding, the situation deteriorated to such an extent that champions of freedom of speech for all citizens were not allowing each other to raise their voices from the platform of Parliament.

It was all the more unfortunate that the Speaker was rendered irrelevant and the two sides ignored understanding reached during meetings of the Business Advisory Committee, which is entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring smooth functioning of the House.

Now a Parliamentary Committee is to be constituted to further empower the Speaker and ensure the proceedings of the House are conducted in a harmonious manner and it has to be seen whether or not the members abide by their commitment to let the House function in a dignified manner.

In a sign of easing of the tension and confrontation, the Opposition has decided to withdraw its no-confidence motion against Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri under whose chair an extraordinary parliamentary session had taken place, where 80 items on the agenda were bulldozed and a record 21 bills passed despite pointing of lack of quorum.

The honour and prestige of the sovereign institution is at stake because of lack of maturity and fence-mending is the need of the hour for the sake of the dignity of Parliament and future of democracy in the country.

 

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