Independents eying headship of 10 parliamentary committees

Will submit names to National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq on Monday

ISLAMABAD   -   Though the matter regarding formation of parliamentary bodies is still unresolved, independent lawmakers backed by PTI are eying chairmanship of 10 important National Assembly standing committees. The group of these individuals, having support of rest of the opposition factions in the parliament, will submit names to Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq on coming Monday. “We will demand chairmanships of ten committees as per our strength in the national assembly,” said Independent MP from PTI Amir Dogar while exclusively talking to The Nation. Dogar said the PTI has also nominated Sheikh Waqas Akram for the slot of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and his name will also be formally submitted in the National Assembly Secretariat.

The parliamentary leaders, through a resolution passed in the national assembly’s last sitting had authorized Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq to nominate the members as per the names given by them. The parliamentary political parties have still not finalized names for the representations in the parliamentary bodies. “MQM-P is finalizing names to submit in the national assembly Secretariat. Our party will ask for chairmanships of some standing committees,” said senior member of MQM-P Zahid Malik while talking to The Nation. A senior member of ruling party (PML-N), desiring not to be named, said that the party will soon elect Nawaz Sharif as head of the party and these matters will be discussed in the meeting too. When contacted, Director General Media National Assembly Secretariat said the next session of the national assembly will be summoned on June 5. The parliamentay parties will be asked to submit names before the coming session. “So far, the parliamentary parties have not submitted names for their representation in the standing committees,” he said. Political and constitutional experts viewed that the formation of the standing committees is essential before the start of the budget session.

All the recommendations proposed by the National Assembly and the Senate are forwarded to the standing committees for discussion and vetting. “Bills introduced and passed in the parliament are by rules forwarded to these parliamentary bodies for legal cover, but still the government and opposition could not build consensus to form it,” they argued. The matter regarding giving chairmanships to the independent lawmakers could also become controversial, as the independent MPs backed by PTI have no status of any political party as yet. The standing committees of the national assembly normally formed in the first month of a new government. National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, last month, had arranged two meetings of parliamentary leaders to resolve the matter.  In the last week, the members from both sides passed a motion authorizing the Speaker to nominate members to standing committees on the recommendations of parliamentary parties’ heads.

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