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Senate body decides to move privilege motion against law minister

Senate body decides to move privilege motion against law minister

ISLAMABAD: Taking notice of his continuous absence from seven meetings, the Senate Functional Committee on Government Assurances on Monday decided to move a privilege motion against Minister of Law and Justice Farogh Naseem.

“I have also decided to hold a meeting with the Senate chairman on Tuesday (today) to take up the issue that the minister is not taking parliament seriously,” said Senator Mohammad Tahir Bizenjo while chairing a meeting of the committee.

The committee has been discussing legislation on appointment of government officers/officials as per provincial quota.

Farogh Naseem skips seventh consecutive meeting of committee to discuss legislation on quota system

Under Article 27 of the Constitution of 1973, the quota system for provinces was fixed for 40 years and that period expired in 2013. However, soon after coming to power that year the PML-N government decided to extend the quota system for another 20 years and introduced a bill in parliament for this purpose. The bill, however, could not become a law so far. As it is a constitutional amendment, it requires two-third majority for passage in parliament. The functional committee was constituted to ensure the passage of the bill.

The committee observed that it was the seventh consecutive absence of the law minister from its meetings. The committee showed displeasure over the attitude of the minister towards the important issue pertaining to employment quota. It recommended that a letter regarding non-attendance of the minister as an ex-officio member be written to the Senate chairman so that action could be initiated.

The committee also took serious notice of the absence of the secretary Ministry of Law and Justice. It asserted that the agenda of the meeting related to rights of less-developed and smaller provinces which if ignored would breed and increase grievances.

National Party leader Senator Bizenjo told Dawn after the meeting that it was unfortunate that the law minister was not taking interest in such an important legislation.

“Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan attended some of the meetings and gave an assurance that the government would play its role in getting the bill passed. Later, however, the committee was told that the law ministry would finalise and move the constitutional amendment,” he said.

“There is an impression that Farogh Naseem belongs to MQM and does not want to pass the bill. Moreover, the secretary law, who participated in a few meetings, has said he was not in favour of the bill which annoyed me as it should be left with the parliamentarians what kind of legislation they want,” he said.

Mr Bizenjo said when the government sought support of Sardar Akhtar Mengal it was decided that the provincial quota would be ensured.

“However, now it seems that the issue has been put on the back burner. It is the issue of smaller provinces and Prime Minister Imran Khan should take interest in it as his party is also in power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said.

The chairman of the committee expressed the hope that the minister would ensure his appearance in the committee meeting as it was one of the most important issues of the country.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2019

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