ISLAMABAD - The elections of three standing committees and one functional committee of the Upper House of the Parliament were held here on Thursday and after the formation of five new committees, the number of the Senate committees now stands at 32.
Senators Afrasiab Khattak, Dr. Saeeda Iqbal, Baz Muhammad Khan and Mushahidullah Khan were elected chairpersons of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights, Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production, Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan and Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Productions consecutively. Out of these four committees, three have been newly formed while Standing Committee on Industries and Production was already in existence.
The elections of two newly formed committees including Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs and Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development were postponed that were also scheduled on Thursday.
The proceedings of the election were conducted by Secretary Senate Amjid Pervaiz Malik, in accordance with the Rule 184 (1) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 2012.
Chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari recently had formed five new committees including four standing committees and one functional committee after the House in its previous session had amended the rules under which these committees are formed and governed. Out of five committees, four had been bifurcated from the existing committee while Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights had been formed after abolishing the previous Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights.
The Senate Standing Committee on Defence had been newly formed after bifurcating the previous Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production, Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan had been constituted after dividing the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan.
Similarly, Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs had been bifurcated from Senate Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs and Senate Standing Committee on Planning and Development from Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics, Planning & Development and Privatization.
According to Senate Secretariat’s Committee Branch, there are now total 32 Senate committees including 28 Senate standing committees, one Senate Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges and three Senate function committees. The functional committees include Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights, Senate Functional Committee on Government Assurances and Senate Function Committee on Problems of Less-developed Areas.
A senior official of Senate Secretariat said that the committees had been formed because the newly elected PML-N government had created some new ministries from the existing ones. He said another reason was that the number of the Senate committees was being brought at par with the National Assembly committees.
Earlier in the day during the election of the committees, the name of Senator Afrasiab Khattak was proposed for Chairmanship of the Senate Functional Committee on Human Rights by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, which was seconded by Senators Rehman Malik and Farhatullah Babar.
For the chairmanship of Senate Standing Committee on Defence Production, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani proposed the name of Senator Dr. Saeeda Iqbal, as chairperson of the standing committee that was seconded by Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan. Senator Rubina Khalid proposed the name of the Senator Baz Muhammad Khan for the chairmanship of Senate Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan that was seconded by senators Mufti Abdulsattar and Mir Muhammad Ali Rind. Senator Mushahidullah Khan was elected the Chairman of Senate Standing Committee on Industries and Production, his name was proposed by Senator Kamran Michael and seconded by senators Saeed Ghani and Hari Ram.
The newly elected chairpersons received warm felicitations from the members of their committees with a pledge to make the committee system more effective, vibrant and assured of their cooperation in the running the affairs of the committees smoothly. They expressed confidence and satisfaction over the election procedure. Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan also witnessed the election procedure and expressed his satisfaction over the process.
Speaking on the occasion, the newly elected chairpersons of the committees thanked their members for reposing confidence in them and reiterated to resolve to work with honesty and devotion. All the four chairmen of the committees were elected on the basis of parliamentary consensus built through the Leader of the House and Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.