Govt not withdrawing any legislation: Awan

Urges opposition leader to respect sanctity of parliament, play constructive role


APP June 19, 2021
Babar Awan. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI / EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan has said the government is not withdrawing any legislation including those related to the electoral reforms.

Dispelling the impression of that the government has decided to withdraw legislation after the yesterday’s meeting with opposition leaders, Dr Awan clarified that the legislation done in the parliament is valid, lawful and constitutional and would not be withdrawn.

"All the bills have been passed as per law despite the efforts by the opposition to derail the process. The bills have been referred to the Senate of Pakistan and the relevant committees," he said addressing a news conference on Friday along with State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib.

The adviser said the parliament has passed 12 bills in one day and 21 legislative instruments the other day. These bills and instruments were pending with different committees for two to three years. This was historic, he added.

He said three of the bills are very important. “One of them is ensuring safety and protection of women; the other is related to giving right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis in compliance with the four different orders of Supreme Court,” he said.

Criticising the non-parliamentary behaviour of the opposition, he said, "This is the first ever opposition which has boycotted the office of the speaker and deputy speaker and the parliamentary committees, closing the doors for dialogue."

He alleged that the opposition has defiled the sanctity of the parliament which is meant for legislating for the downtrodden and to empower them.

Read Shehbaz for consensus-based vote reforms

The government has always shown seriousness in bringing transparency in election through Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). “However, the opposition parties, which want status quo to persist, are not in favour of the EVMs,” he said.

He said those who have managed thousands of fake votes in their constituencies fear that they would lose in case of transparent election. "Election is a matter concerning the entire nation and not just a political party or the government", he added.

Dr Awan said the opposition parties objecting and boycotting the bills have neither read these bills nor suggested any single amendment to them. He said the government will play its vibrant role in the committees to be formed for addressing the issues of violating ethics and parliamentary traditions.

 "Whenever any deadlock appears, the government always steps forward and resolves issues," the adviser said, adding that since the government led by Imran Khan has come into the power, the institutions are getting strength.

Criticising the opposition leader's stance that the overseas Pakistanis can’t understand the issues of Pakistan, Dr Awan said, "If [PML-N leader] Nawaz Sharif sitting abroad can claim to understand the issues of Pakistan well then the overseas Pakistanis also know the issues of the country".

“The government has always acknowledged the valuable contribution of overseas Pakistanis in terms of remittances and they must be given the right to vote,” he stressed.

He asked Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif to focus on supremacy of the parliament.

“The opposition leader – instead of making the futile efforts for removal of an elected prime minister and dragging the state institutions in the politics – should respect the sanctity of the parliament and play constructive role,” he added.

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