PML-N Majority NA Fails To Approve ‘Panama Bill’

Despite having a majority in the National Assembly, the PML-N led government on Monday failed to pass the “The Pakistan Commission of Inquiry Bill, 2016,” which the opposition called the ‘PM Saving Bill’ due to a lack of quorum.

Panama
PML-N majority NA fails to approve ‘Panama Bill’

However, the government was successful in passing the resolution that “the National Assembly resolves to extend the Tax Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2016,” despite of combined oppositions strong protest. The PPP led opposition strongly reacted over the government’s move to present several important legislations in one day. They said the government had determined to pass all bills/legislation because it completed the numbers (quorum) after hectic efforts. The opposition members walked out two times over presentation of the resolutions.

The opposition members including PPP, MQM, JI, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and others opposed both bills. They were of the view that such a resolution would not be able to save the prime minister in the Panama Papers case, which was already in SC. They asked the PML-N to give up the kingdom-like mode of governance and avoid staking the country just to save one family. PPP leader Naved Qamar said everyone knew that it was a Panama-specific Bill and claimed that it would not save the government.

He said the SC would consider this bill a joke and totally reject it. Nafeesa Shah was of the view that the government had no right to pass such legislation. She claimed that the government presented the bill with bad intentions. Shameful efforts were made to save the Sharif family. She said if such law passed, then there would be street agitation again, more containers would be set up and it would be difficult for the government to run smoothly.

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Sahibzada Tariqullah of JI said the government also planned to present a law to curtail judiciary power to take suo moto action, but none of this would save the government. Ijaz Jakrani claimed that the Nawaz Sharif-led government always wanted to run the government like a king and legislation was also made to save him. “You have numerical strength but for Gods’ sake don’t bulldoze the legislation,” he advised the government.

Law Minister Zahid Hamid claimed that the bill was not PM specific and unrelated to the Panama Papers. Rather, it would be for future commission. He said that everything was twisted in the House and related it to PM and Panama Paper, which he totally rejected. After long discussions, when the speaker put the resolution for the passage, the entire opposition walked out and at the same time pointed out the quorum. After counting, the government failed to complete the quorum and the Speaker had no choice but to adjourn the House till Tuesday 10.30. The National Assembly passed the Income Tax (Amendment) Ordinance 2016 for a further period of one hundred and twenty days. The opposition termed it against the 18th constitutional amendment and claimed that the power given was withdrawn from provinces gradually.

Responding to a calling attention notice moved by Tahira Aurangzeb and others regarding the nature of current 3-TV dramas promoting the ratio of divorce in the country, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the that media plays an important role in shaping a good society. She said any news or entertainment content violating societal impact should be stopped and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had sent advisories to all the channels to check this practice.

The State Minister said the government was also organising training courses for news and entertainment industry to take the society to a positive direction. She said the government was also going to organise a National Artist Convention in the coming days. -dailytimes