ISLAMABAD – The ruling coalition could not muster support for ‘The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan Bill, 2012 (DRA 2012) on Monday in the national assembly when the session was adjourned due to lack of quorum.
Neither leader of the House Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf nor leader of the opposition Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan were present in the assembly when the debate over DRA 2012 turned heated.
The debate started when Muttahida Quami Movement’s (MQM) member national assembly Iqbal Qadri proposed the omission of word ‘only’ from DRA bill 2012 in Clause-14, section-3, which says, ‘’No person shall be appointed as the CEO or Director of the Authority unless he is a citizen of Pakistan only”. “There is no need to use word ‘only’ in this clause as after the word unless”, said Qadri.
The opposition members called this amendment an opportunity to dual nationals to become head of the drug regulatory authority.
The lawmakers on treasury benches tried to brush this concern off by calling it a grammatical error, which needed to be changed.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz legislator Zahid Hamid said that the amendment at this stage would give other impression. “If it is the matter of grammatical mistake, it should be left at this stage,” he said.
Minister for National Regulations and Services Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that it was not matter of dual nationality at all. “If any Pakistani wants to serve at this important seat, he should be given opportunity,” she said.
Pakistan People’s Party’s Zafar Ali said that this bill should be made public for the understanding of people. He went on to add that there were only four thousand registered medicines in India but in Pakistan the number of registered medicines is 60 thousand.
PML-N’s Balighur Rahman said that this issue had also been discussed in the standing committee concerned and it was the consensus of the committee to use word ‘only’ in it.