Senate passes resolution binding prime minister to attend house session

Cyber Security Council Bill tabled in Senate, Mini-Marshall Plan for FATA to be introduced.

APP/peer Muhammad/web Desk April 14, 2014
Senate adopted a resolution on Monday making it mandatory for the Prime Minister to attend the Senate session at least once a week. PHOTO: FILE

The Senate on Monday adopted a resolution making it mandatory for the Prime Minister to attend the Senate session at least once a week, Express News reported.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Senator Tahir Mashhadi had submitted a resolution in the senate secretariat that alleged the Premier was not giving importance to the upper house and has not attended a single session since taking oath of office in June last year.

The rules of the house should be amended to make it mandatory for the PM to attend the senate session, said Mashhadi.

According to the amendments made in the house rules, the Prime Minister shall whenever possible personally respond to points raised by members whenever he is present in the House. However, the Prime Minister shall attend the Prime Minister’s Zero Hour at least once in each week when the Senate is in session.

Provided that it shall be the joint responsibility of the Leader of the House and the Chief Whip to request/invite the Prime Minister to attend the Prime Minister’s Zero Hour and to inform all members of the Prime Minister’s attendance one day in advance.”.

(iv)    for sub-rules (5) and (6), the following be substituted, namely:-

“(5)   If the Prime Minister is not present, the Minister concerned shall respond to the matter raised under sub-rule (1).

6)     If both the Prime Minister and the Minister concerned are not present, the Chairman, if deemed necessary, may require the Minister concerned to respond to the point raised by the member on a date to be fixed by the Chairman.”

(2) that in rule 64, for sub-rule (2), the following be substituted, namely:-

“(2)   There shall be no debate or voting on such a statement. The Member in whose name the item stands shall make a brief statement and the Minister concerned shall make a statement on the subject. The statement by the member shall not exceed ten minutes and the statement by the Minister shall not normally exceed fifteen minutes.”.

(3) that in rule 169,  for the word “four”,  the word “six” be substituted.

  (4)   that in rule 178, after sub-rule (2), the following “Explanation” be added, namely:-

“Explanation.- For the purpose of this rule, a vacancy occurring on the retirement of a member under clause (3) of Article 59 of the Constitution shall be deemed to be a casual vacancy.”

Earlier opposition parties had protested and staged a walk out on the point that the Prime minister has not attended a single upper house session since taking oath of office.

Chairman Senate Nayyar Hussain Bukhari was chairing the session.

Cyber Security Council Bill tabled

Cyber Security Council Bill 2014, the first ever bill on Cyber Security, was tabled in the upper house of the Parliament.

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed presented the bill.

The bill seeks the establishment of a 'National Cyber Security Council and defined its functions and powers as to develop and draft policy, guidelines and governance models related to ever emerging Cyber Security threat.

Senator Hussain termed the cyber threat as one of the major non-traditional and non-military threats which country is facing.

"Given the clear and present danger of threat to Pakistan's national security related to Cyber Warfare, as demonstrated by revelations of intrusion into privacy and spying by overseas intelligence networks, and given the context that cyber warfare is currently being weighed actively in the region where Pakistan is located, it is imperative that Pakistan take institutional steps to combat this threat." The senator elaborated.

The Council, according to the bill, shall have the function of and powers to devise strategic plans as well. The bill emphasized to facilitate communications between the Government and private sector entities, academia, civil society, cyber security experts and also develop a ten year and twenty year vision.

Mini-Marshall Plan for FATA

Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Lt Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch informed the Senate that the government would introduce a 'Mini Marshall Plan' for the socio-economic development of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

The plan is under process and it would be presented in the house once it is finalized, he added.

He was speaking in response to a resolution moved by Afrasiab Khattak calling for rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and socio-economic uplift in FATA.

Responding to a query asked by Khattak, the minister said 6,000 people had been killed and as many injured due to law and order situation in FATA. The government had distributed Rs 4 billion among the victims and IDPs as compensation so far and another Rs 2 billion will be given in near future, he added.

He said around 100,000 IDPs are living in camps, while the others had moved to live with their relatives across the country. The government has been providing Rs 25,000 for each family.

The minister said it was PML-N government's top priority to bring peace and prosperity in the country, including FATA. For the purpose, peace talks were going on, which would have a positive result.

He assured the House that no person would remain unattended till the return of peace in FATA and did not oppose the resolution, which was unanimously adopted

The senate session was adjourned till 4pm tomorrow.


Urban Legend | 7 years ago | Reply

@Naeem Khan: lolz

Hasan | 7 years ago | Reply

Hats off to MQM & Tahir Mashaddi Sb, for taking a great initiave. PMLN talks about being a chapmion of democracy, yet it continues to ignore all democratic forums. PM & his cabinet ministers don't even bother attending paliments session (apart for 1 or 2 invididuals), let alone senate.

I would love to see Parliment do the same.

At the same time, I doubt this would have any impact. So much for democracy.

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