ISLAMABAD - The PPP-led opposition in the Senate Tuesday accused the ruling PML-N for unexpected termination of Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik ostensibly in a desperate effort to cover up the massive irregularities in May 11 elections in NA-118 Lahore.
Speaking on a point of order, several Senators from the opposition benches blamed the Interior Minister for his late night action against NADRA Chairman when he had refused to oblige the government to verify thumb imprints of the constituent voters of NA-118 as per its wishes.
Despite categorical denial by the Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq of any link between the termination of Tariq Malik and verification process of thumb imprints of the voters of NA-118, they kept on arguing that May elections were massively rigged under a grand scheme.
Those who spoke over the termination of NDARA Chairman included Saeed Ghani, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Zahid Khan, Farhatullah Babar, Rehman Malik, Jhangir Badar and Shahi Syed.
As some members were also trying to speak about the issue, Chairman Syed Nayyar Hussain Bukhari suddenly adjourned the House to meet again on Wednesday.
Earlier, the opposition and treasury benches remained locked in a debate on breach of privilege motion of the House when senior PPP Leader Mian Raza Rabbani sought discussion on the motion on government’s bypassing in laying of three ordinances in the Upper House.
Senator Raza Rabbani while presenting the privilege motion said that the government has prima facie breached privilege of the entire House for bypassing it in the laying of three ordinances relating counter terrorism.
Senator Rabbani accused the government of malicious effort to lay the ordinances for approval in the National Assembly instead of the Senate, which was also in session.
According to him, these ordinances, which were promulgated by the President Mamnoon Hussain on October 14, ought to have been presented in the House on October 28 rather than putting them on the agenda of the House on November 8, the last day when the House was prorogued sine die.
He was of the view that the government acted under a well thought out strategy to avoid the Upper House out of fear that opposition might disapprove these ordinances, which, he believed, would entail far reaching human rights implications.
Responding to the move, Raja Zafar-ul-Haq rejected the argument of the opposition senator that there was any conspiracy behind the government action saying these ordinances were on the agenda and could not be presented in the House during the last session because of a mishap and lack of congenial atmosphere largely for opposition boycott of the proceedings as well as the quorum.
On this, Rabbani again stood up and argued that that boycott of opposition had no linkage with the presentation of these ordinances and there is a blatant violation of Article 89 of the constitution, therefore the issue be referred to the House Privileg Committee for further consideration.
Leader of Opposition Chauhdry Aitzaz Ahsen stood up and said it is a unique issue between the two houses, adding that it is not a bill as proposed in the agenda of the House but a piece of information for the House, therefore the Chair should give it ruling on the issue.
On this, the Chairman Senate, said since it involves two houses of the parliament, therefore, he would reserve his ruling until and unless it looks into in the light of constitution and allowed the minister for parliamentary to lay the ordinances for the information of the House.
These ordinances included Anti Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 (Ordinance No. VII of 2013)‚ Anti terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 (Ordinance No VIII of 2013) and Protection of Pakistan Ordinance 2013.
The House also unanimously admitted an adjournment motion moved by Rabbani seeking to discuss the recent price hike especially in petroleum products‚ gas‚ electricity and essential commodities. The House also admitted a privilege motion moved by Zahid Khan against Chief Secretary of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province and referred it to the privilege committee for further consideration.