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Amid opposition protest, NA passes resolution seeking extension in 7 ordinances

NA passes resolution seeking extension in 7 ordinances

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Friday passed a resolution seeking extension in seven ordinances amid protests by the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC)-led opposition in the lower house of the parliament.

Federal Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar tabled seven ordinances and two bills in the house, amid a strong protest by the opposition members.

The bills that were laid before the House included, The Civil Courts Amendment Bill, 2024 and the Legal Aid and Justice Authority Amendment Bill, 2024. The chair referred the bills to the standing committees concerned.

The ordinances include Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance 2023, Pakistan National Shipping Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023, Pakistan Postal Services Management Board (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023, the National Highway Authority (Amendment) Ordinance 2023, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023, the Privatization Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 and the Establishment of Telecommunication Appellate Tribunal Ordinance, 2023.

Speaking on the point of order, the SIC leader Omar Ayub Khan said the opposition rejected the ordinances. He asked the speaker to take pictures of those favouring the ordinances as those were “passed to sell Pakistan”.

SIC’s Ayub said first the lawmakers must to see what the ordinance was.

“Tell me what it was, tell me under oath how many people in the House have read it,” he asked the lawmakers sitting on the treasury benches. He said an ordinance related to privatisation was introduced in the NA.

He said even Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) members did not know what they were doing.

“There are talks of selling these institutions of Pakistan, we are going on record on that,” he said.

Upon the opposition’s commotion, NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq held counting of votes on the extension of ordinances. Following which, 130 votes came in favour of the resolution and 63 opposed it.

Responding to the point of order, the law minister said pictures should be taken of those who were committing treason against Pakistan and writing letters to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The opposition leaders should first read the ordinance before speaking on it, he suggested.

The law minister also suggested the opposition to stand for the country, not behind a “prisoner”.

The SIC members’ tearing documents enraged the speaker, who said if it happened again then he would be forced to take disciplinary action.

Tarar said the government would take opinion from all the allied parties. They legislated after extending old ordinances, he said, adding that they would take the house into confidence on the legislation.

The speaker referred the bills to the relevant committee.

At the outset of the assembly session, Sadiq administered oath to five women who became MNAs on reserved seats. Following their taking the oath, the number of oath-taking ceremony in the NA reached 316. The new MNAs include Shaheen Habibullah, Ghazal Anjum, Asma Alamgir, Naima Kanwal and Naeema Kishore.

The NA session has been prorogued indefinitely.

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