National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has put a restriction on the meetings of standing committees and sub-committees.
According to a notification issued on Monday, the step has been with respect to the “ongoing austerity measures” of the PTI government. Now, the meeting of all standing committees and sub-committee, excluding the Public Accounts Committee, will be held during the session of the National Assembly.
All such meetings which were fixed before have now been cancelled. The chairperson or conveners of the committees have been asked to ask the speaker for special permission if they need to hold an urgent meeting.
The standing committees play an important role in monitoring the work of relevant ministries. They are regarded as the “eyes, ears, hands and even brain of parliament”, according to the National Assembly website. Pakistan’s assembly comprises 22 standing committees.
The Pakistan Peoples Party has, however, opposed the decision and said that it should be taken back. The party claims that the decision seeks to restrict former president Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to the parliament.
PPP leader Nayyar Hussain Bukhari remarked that the decision shows just how scared the government is of the opposition. ” Someone needs to teach our PM about the assembly laws and code of conduct,” he said. “The speaker has become the servant of the PM. Those who attacked the parliament before are now aiming for a takeover.”
Bukhari said that Asif Zardari is an elected member of the parliament and nothing can change that.