The coalition partners and opposition in the Senate are still unaware of the core agenda for the session of the upper house of Parliament which has been called in for Monday.
Earlier, President Asif Ali Zardari had summoned the sessions of Senate and National Assembly simultaneously, but the parliamentary leaders of various parties were still unaware of the agenda to be discussed in the session. “It seems that the government is bringing an important legislation and the sessions of both the houses were called for this purpose,” said Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi.
“We are hearing through media that the PPP is going to table a bill for the creation of Seraiki province and this could be the reason why the sessions were called in haste without consulting the coalition parties,” he said.
When asked about his party’s stance and support for the proposed new province, Senator Mashhadi said; “In principle, MQM is in favour of the creation of new provinces including Seraiki, Hazara etc, and would offer support in this regard.”
At the same time, Awami National Party (ANP), another coalition partner complained that they were not informed about the agenda of the Senate session. “We are unaware about the agenda items of the upcoming session,” said ANP’s parliamentary leader in Senate Haji Mohammad Adeel.
He said that the government should have informed at least the parliamentary leaders about the key agenda items. Adeel added that some burning issues could be discussed including the power crisis and law and order situation in the country.
He said that his party has already submitted motions on petroleum issues and shortage of CNG which could not be taken up in the previous session and it would be brought under discussion today.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Mushahidullah also had similar reaction; he said that he was in the dark as far as the agenda of the session was concerned.
Meanwhile, PPP Senators were not available to comment about the session.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2013.