ISLAMABAD - In an unprecedented move, the government on Thursday in the Senate questioned ‘partiality’ of acting chairman Senate Sabir Ali Baloch and refused to take part in the budget debate after exchange of hot words between PML-N parliamentary leader in the house Mushahid Ullah Khan and the chair.
The use of some unparliamentary words by Mushahid Ullah against the chair forced him to adjourn the House till Friday. The government took a tough stance questioning neutrality of the chair for what the Leader of the House in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq said that they would have to wait for Chairman Senate Nayyer Hussian Bokhari to come and run the proceedings of the Upper House.
“This is not in the parliamentary history that the government has ever staged a protest walkout and if such had happened, we would walk out against the acting chairman Senate,” said Raja Zafarul Haq adding that the treasury sides would boycott the budget debate in any case. And M Hamza of PML-N following the Leader of the House refused to deliver his budget speech.
THe issue arose after the acting chairman Senate Sabir Ali Baloch referred the privilege motion of his party’s lawmaker Nawabzada Saifullah Magsi to the Senate Standing Committee on Rules of Procedures and Privileges. He had moved a privilege motion against the capital police deputed as the security staff of the Prime Minister. He said during PM’s other day’ visit to Parliament Lodges, the police removed his vehicle with a fork lifter from the parking area and misbehaved with him. Actually the use of words against Prime Minister by Magsi infuriated the government side as he said it seemed that the premier came there like a crown prince.
Leader of the House in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan tried to mediate and settle the matter after he said that Leader of the House and he himself would settle the matter in the chamber of the chairman but the government was not ready to cool down. Even Aitzaz along with ANP lawmaker Afrasiab Khattak came to the seat of Leader of the House to voo him but the treasury side even condemned this act of the opposition what Mushahid Ullah said opposition was doing this to get the news published in its favour. “Don’t do point scoring,” he said.
The Leader of the House viewed that how the chair could refer the matter to the privilege committee when neither the notice had been issued to his office nor the chair got his view on the issue. After a short time, the chair giving reference to the Rule no 76 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate said that the chairman Senate could even refer the privilege motion to the committee in his chamber.
The Leader of the House giving reference Rule 70 said that the privilege of any member is breached when someone obstructs member in the discharge of his duties and the chair should explain how the lawmaker had been obstructed.
Sabir Baloch remarked, “I don’t think I have done any thing wrong. The Leader o the House answered in the same breath that: You have done wrong as this is against the procedure. Hearing the remarks from both sides, the Leader of the Opposition said that it seemed that the government was running both sides of the aisle at the same time, “It looks it doesn’t need any opposition and the government wants to obstruct the house,” he said.
Earlier, Aitzaz drew attention of the house to an attack of unknown persons on the house of newly elected senator of PPP Taj Haider. “His house was searched completely and it seems that some unknown persons were looking for some thing which they could not find,” he said.
He said it was the prime responsibility of the Government of Sindh to investigate the matter yet federal interior ministry could help to trace the culprits. Leader of the House endorsing Ahsan said that he would bring it into the notice of the interior minister.
Salim Mandviwalla was the only sneaker who could deliver his budget speech. He said that that the government had not mentioned the exact figure of unemployment, in the budget. “The government wants to change the perception that there is an economic turn around but this needs figured,” he said. The Finance Minister by giving correct figures should inform us where we stand, he said.