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CDA officials invite Senators’ wrath

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Published: June 17, 2014 09:00 pm

ISLAMABAD: The tussle between bureaucracy and the parliamentarians is not new in the parliamentary history of Pakistan. A latest example came to fore in the form of a privilege motion in Senate. The lawmakers belonging to opposition benches spoke their hearts out against the government officials for not taking them seriously.

During seventh sitting of the ongoing budget session, ANP Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash moved a privilege motion against the Chairman of Capital Development Authority (CDA). He informed the House that his meeting was fixed with CDA Chairman Maroof Afzal and Member Planning and Design on April 29, 2014. When he was on his way to the chairman’s office, he was conveyed the message that the meeting has been cancelled. The senator considered the cancellation of the meeting as misconduct on part of the government official.

“Being a member of the Senate of Pakistan and a Public Representative it is a breach of privilege and behaviour of the said officers is not according to the code of conduct of the Government officials”, the senator stated. He prayed to the Chair to send the motion to the Privileges Committee. The Chair apprised the member that his motion was referred to the CDA Chairman and his reply was also received. However, the senator maintained that the official did not come to meet him despite passage of three weeks since the motion was originated in the Senate secretariat.

Senator Abdul Haseeb Khan of MQM also complained of similar attitude extended to him by CDA officials a year ago. He sought to include his name as well in the privilege motion. But, the Chair declined his request stating that he had not given prior notice. The Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq assured the Chair to look into the matter. However, the aggrieved senator Abdul Nabi Bangash considered this assurance unsatisfactory. He said despite passage of more than a month, the official did not contact him to apologize. He asked the Leader of the House to consider this issue as a colleague and not as treasury vs opposition issue. “He is the Leader of the House, he should protect our privilege”, the senator stated.

At this moment, the Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan also jumped in and stated that it was not an issue of meeting alone rather it was about cancelling the appointment with a parliamentarian without any prior notice. He said it was derogatory behavior on part of the official to cancel the meeting with a public representative through his secretary. He strongly favored to send the motion to the Privileges Committee. Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, once again, tried to diffuse the tension by assuring that he would ask the chairman CDA to seek apologies from the aggrieved senator and meet him on a decided time. However, Senator Bangash insisted that it was breach of his privilege. He said a public official should be answerable to the public representative.

The Leader of the Opposition complained that the government itself did not take the elected Houses seriously and that is why the officials also have a non-serious behavior towards the Senate. At last, the Chair succumbed to the pressure of the opposition benches and forwarded the motion to the concerned committee.

Posted by on June 17, 2014. Filed under Houses,Question of Privilege Senate,Senate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry