ISLAMABAD - With a persistent negative impact on routine life, the Coronavirus [COVID-19] has also brought the working of parliament to a standstill.
The MNAs from both sides of aisle, in the 20th session of national assembly, a day before fast rise in the cases in country were at loggerheads over the petty political matters, ignoring the global issue.
It seems from routine proceedings of the parliament that the country has sufficient arrangements to deal with the novel virus. The members of house from treasury and opposition prefer to lock horns over the matters related to all the matters except the outbreak of dangerous virus.
The lawmakers in the first four days of proceedings of the house even did not talk about chalking out any strategy to counter the possible uncomfortable situation in the country.
The elected parliamentarians on the 5th day of proceedings mutually realized the sensitivity of the situation and decided to prorogue the proceedings of the national assembly.
On the last day of 20th session of national assembly, it was suddenly decided to thoroughly discuss situation arising out after the entry of Virus in the country. Only in the one-day discussion in the parliament, the lawmakers were seen struggling to take the floor to express their concerns about the serious matter.
However, the chair with the consent of saner voices from government and opposition decided to end the proceedings to avoid outbreak of Coronavirus in the parliament. The parliament is the place where 342 MNAs from different parts of country sit together seat-by-seat for legislative business and debate.
Realizing the dangerous situation, the house was prorogued one week before the schedule. It was also understandable for journos of media gallery that the opposition and government had mutually decided to end the proceedings but the former at the same time asked government to summon joint session of parliament to chalk out strategy to deal with Coronavirus.
Political wizards termed the demand of opposition as ‘mere a political point-scoring’. The lawmakers should have discussed only this matter in the session, as even the developed economic countries have been struggling to navigate this unexpected turbulence for last two weeks.
They further viewed that Pakistan has for the first time in parliamentary history has prorogued the proceedings to avoid outbreak of any disease.
With the decision to end the proceedings of both the houses [National Assembly and Senate], the speaker national assembly Asad Qaiser and Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani had also immediately suspended all the functions of parliament to avoid spread of Coronavirus.
In order to prevent Parliament House from the Corona virus, capital development authority had taken immediate measures by fumigation in the building of parliament. The staff of CDA had wash stairs, lobbies, corridors and parking areas with germicides in order to prevent the premises of Parliament from the virus. It was decided to provide hand sanitising liquid, soaps and tissue papers in toilets besides filling of sanitiser dispensing machines already installed in different locations in Parliament House with sanitising liquid.
Although the government has to pass many important bills and to conclude pending debates on presidential address, agriculture reforms and Kashmir issue yet the Coronovirus had hardly given any window to concentrate on any other business.