NA speaker suspends two SIC MPs’ membership


ISLAMABAD:

The treasury benches stirred up the ghosts of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) past -– now reincarnated in parliament as the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) -– as it reminded the National Assembly of the former ruling party’s controversial decision to allow the resettlement of terrorists during its tenure, plunging citizens back into the dark abyss of terrorism.

The government, however, stood firm, declaring that negotiations with terrorist organisations were off the table and they would be given a dose of their own medicine. “With absolute clarity, the government has decided that there will be no talks with terrorists,” Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar said on the floor of the house. “The terrorist will be paid back in their own coins.”

The law minister took the opportunity to castigate the previous PTI administration, recalling how they had arranged a security briefing within the hallowed halls of parliament and subsequently greenlit the resettlement of thousands of terrorists within the nation’s borders, who had been pushed out by the police, army, and people of Pakistan.

“The citizens of Pakistan were once again exposed to terrorists,” the law minister regretted.
Before and after the elections, parties included in the PML-N-led coalition have strongly criticised the terrorist resettlement policy of the PTI government and called for a comprehensive inquiry into the release of outlawed individuals associated with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

They have also questioned the decision to invite them to settle in the tribal areas of the country by former prime minister Imran Khan, who is currently in jail and facing multiple cases. Recently, Pakistan has seen a surge in terrorist attacks, including on Chinese nations, and the government and the security forces have since been devising strategies to protect people and defeat terrorism.

The senator said that the government has a zero-tolerance policy, saying the security institutions along with federal and provincial governments were fighting against terrorists. He said that the officials of the security forces were laying down their lives to protect citizens and the homeland.

In response to a question, Tarar said the Balochistan government is taking steps to punish terrorists involved in the Noshki incident and the federal government is extending all help to the provincial government through various institutions whenever and wherever it is required.

Efforts are underway to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorist organizations, he said, adding that federal government agencies are on their toes to support the provincial governments, including in their operations against dacoits of Kacha areas. The law minister said that Pakistan has been facing terrorism for the past four decades and the issue will take time to resolve.

In response to different questions, the law minister reiterated that the federal government through ministry of interior will continue to provide support to the provincial governments within the bounds of law and rules to combat terrorism.

Responding to another question, Tarar said that the government takes up issues at appropriate forums when there is solid evidence and credible information of the involvement of any foreign element in terrorist incidents.

He also said that it was up to Afghanistan how it wanted to have a relationship with any other country when his attention was drawn toward Afghan-India ties.

Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar drew the house’s attention towards a statement by a PTI official against Saudi Arabia when he alleged that KSA was also involved in the alleged regime change operation when the PTI government was ousted.

The information minister said that there have been multiple statements from the PTI officials regarding friends of Pakistan, saying one official says something and the party issues a rebuttal to it, recalling PTI has earlier accused the US of ousting it from power in April 2022 before taking a U-turn on it. Ata Tara accused ex-PM Imran Khan of habitually playing with foreign policy, alleging he compromised on the confidential system of the diplomatic corps when discussing cypher in public.

Memberships suspended

Friday’s session also saw the suspension of two members of SIC, Jamshed Ahmed Dasti and Mohammad Iqbal Khan.

NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said that they have used abusive language, approached the dice of the speaker in a threatening manner, blew whistles and trumpets which has never happened in the parliament before, chanted objectionable slogans, displayed banners and placards, indulged in rowdy behaviour and eroded the sanctity of the house.

The speaker said that Dasti and Khan violated Rule 30 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007.

Subsequently, Sadiq while accusing two members of disregarding the authority of the Speaker and obstructing proceedings put a question to the house if Dasti and Khan be suspended for the remainder of the session or now.

The house voted in favour of the suspension of the two SIC members. The Speaker then adjourned the session to meet again on April 27 at 5pm.

The motion said: “Jamshed Dasti and Muhammad Iqbal MNAs used abusive language and approached the dais of the speaker in a threatening manner, which is unacceptable.”

The motion further detailed their disruptive behaviour, including “blowing whistles and trumpets, chanting objectionable slogans, and displaying banners and placards”, saying that such actions violated the sanctity of the house and the rules outlined in the Rules of Procedure of Conduct of Business International 2007.

Citing Rule 21 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the NA read with Rule 33 of the Parliament Joint Sitting Rules 1973, the NA speaker named them and ordered the withdrawal of their membership from the assembly’s current session.

This decision was made by the established rules and regulations to maintain the decorum and integrity of parliamentary proceedings.

The motion was passed after a majority of voice votes.
 

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