PESHAWAR: Speaker of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Asad Qaiser is facing the ire of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for participating in the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) rally in Islamabad on November 2 and filing a petition in the Peshawar High Court seeking clarification of CPEC status.
Parliamentary leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha questioned the impartiality of the speaker by submitting an adjournment motion in the assembly secretariat on Wednesday.
Nalotha targeted Qaiser’s role as the speaker, saying that he clearly aligned himself with the PTI, and not with all political groups in the assembly who unanimously elected him as their speaker.
“The speaker’s role in the house is neutral, as he takes care of the rights of both the treasury and opposition benches, but by participating in PTI’s protest on November 2, the speaker proved himself to be the speaker of PTI,” Nalotha stated.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s PLM-N leadership is also unhappy over the speaker’s petition on CPEC which was filed in the Peshawar High Court on the status of the project’s western route.
Nalotha states that they supported the speaker when he brought the CPEC to the K-P assembly for discussion but he did not take the house into confidence before filing the petition on November 7.
“All political parties of the province are struggling for the rights of the province, including on the issue of CPEC, but the speaker tried to give credit to a single political party [PTI]. The speaker also made a failed attempt of point-scoring on CPEC which affected the provincial unity, besides trying to create a controversy over the CPEC.”
The motion also criticizes the speaker for not running the assembly in accordance with its rules of business, accusing him of trying to run it according to his personal will.
The speaker, the motion stated, was not holding the assembly’s sittings on private members days.
It stated that no action was taken against PTI members who fought in the house, demonstrating speaker’s failure in fulfilling his responsibilities.
Nalotha also accused the speaker of deliberately avoiding to put the members’ questions, adjournment, call-attention and privileged motions on the assembly’s agenda against the government.
Furthermore, the motion stated, the speaker also failed to ensure that the ministers, advisers and special assistants to the chief minister answer questions raised by the assembly members, creating a disparity.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2016.