ISLAMABAD - The ruling PML-N seems reluctant to change its position over the controversial Protection of Pakistan Bill 2014 already passed from the National Assembly or make any concession to the opposition parties in the Senate meeting today (Monday).
“We will see how the opposition acts in the Senate,” Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq said while speaking to The Nation on Sunday without divulging details about the PML-N strategy to counter opposition move that is bent upon blocking the controversial legislation.
On the other hand main opposition party in the Upper House, the PPP, and smaller opposition parties including MQM, ANP, PML-Q and JUI-F outnumbering the numerical strength of the ruling party and its allies, will also meet to discuss strategy about how to block the bill if the government tries to table it in the house.
“We will not accept the bill in its present form unless the government agrees to the amendments proposed by the opposition parties,” PPP central leader Senator Farhatullah Babar asserted.
On the other hand, PTI and JI which have no presence in the Upper House but enjoy sizeable position in the National Assembly are also not prepared to support the bill if the government tries to get it through from the joint sitting of the parliament, an option the government might try in case opposition in the Senate succeeds in blocking the bill.
“Not at all, We are opposed to the bill in its present form and will oppose it if the government tries to get it passed from the joint sitting of the parliament,” PTI Information Secretary and MNA Dr Shireen Mizari maintained. “We are already committed to moving the court on it,” she added.
She was of the firmed view that PTI would not change its position until the government accepted 30 amendments PTI had recommended and unfortunately the speaker of the national assembly did not allow its recommendations to put forward even though they had been tabled.
Apart from the opposition parties in the parliament, the bill drew strong criticism from the human rights organisations that declared the bill in the present a gross violation of the fundamental human rights.