Disinterest of Ruling MPs in parliament

ISLAMABAD   -   The opposition and the treasury are rarely seen on the same page in parliament, whether it’s about legislative business, policy initiatives, or any other matter. The opposition benches take exception of every matter proposed by the government in their speeches. This criticism is taken normally but now the allies of ruling party have started staying against government policies, only after passing three months since taking the rein. In the parliament, the coalition partners of the government have been seen raising objections over the conduct of the ministers.  PPP, the second largest party, is often seen joining hands with the opposition for raising objections over absence of the ministers and Prime Minister.  The opposition, in the views of parliamentary pundits, never spare the government over absence of Ministers in the house, especially during the Question-Hour session (First hour of the proceedings specified to answer the queries of the opposition).

The opposition benches also use the rules related to required quorum as a weapon to disrupt the proceedings of the house.

 This ‘weapon’ is used by all the opposition in their tenure to suspend the proceedings, but if the opposition party gets a chance of government also become victim of this rule related to the presence of 1/3 lawmakers in the house.

 The 16th National Assembly, since its inception, has been facing the same issue as most of the time front benches were seen empty. The presence of leader of the house/Prime Minister is also a big issue faced by government in its tenure.

 The Prime Minister has undoubtedly carries many responsibilities but his continuous absence from the parliament is noticed and strongly criticized by the opposition.

Former Prime ministers, in last one and half decades, were strongly criticized for their disinterest and giving less importance to the Parliament.  Former Prime Ministers  Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan in their tenure were considered at the top for ignoring the parliament. Whereas, Yusuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf were lauded for ensuring their presence in the house.

Now, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for last three months has not been ensuring presence in the house. Leader of opposition Omar Ayub has number of times expressed res¬ervations on it. Surprisingly, PPP has also started pointing out this matter in the house.

 “In PPP era, Prime Minister ensures presence in the parliament. Never make joke of it,” PPP’s senior MNA Aijaz Jhakrani amid desk-thumping from opposition and his party members raised this matter on the floor of the house, in the previous proceedings.

Political and constitu¬tional experts believed that the parliamentary norms and traditions should be respected. With the presence of leader of the house, all other members give importance to the parliament.

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