ISLAMABAD            -          The opposition senators have called for summoning the session of the Senate on a requisition to discuss the COVID-19 situation if the government further delays to summon the house.

The lawmakers of the major political parties have said that it was now need of the hour that Senate should meet to make new legislation regarding deadly virus and to play an oversight role over the measures taken by the government to tackle the pandemic.

The lawmakers met through a video link in an informal meeting called by Deputy Chairman Senate Salim Mandviwalla to discuss the situation arising out of the outbreak of coronavirus and for summoning the Upper House of the Parliament. “If the government further delays to summon the session, the opposition has an option to summon the sitting through a requisition,” said a number of lawmakers representing the opposition parties in the house. Deputy Chairman Senate Mandviwalla said that the upper house would continue to play its role in tis regards

MQM Senator Mian Ateeq Shaikh said that they were facing an extraordinary situation and the house has to examine a number of matters. He said that the government should provide protection to doctors and health workers who are the frontline fighters to deal with coronavirus. He also underscored that the fares of state-owned Pakistan International Airlines was charging four times increased fares to bring back those Pakistanis who are stranded in other countries.

Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Senator Sirajul Haq said that there was utmost necessity to summon the house.

PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rasheed said that the session would provide an opportunity to discuss the overall situation amid coronavirus fears.

His party colleague Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed and PPP lawmaker Dr Sikandar Mandhro also urged the need to summon the session.

PML-N Senator Dr Asif Kirmani also demanded that the government should summon the session. Another PML-N lawmaker Salahuddin Tirmizi said that the government should not make controversial the 18th Amendment and the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and all should jointly work to fight the coronavirus.

Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP) Senator Usman Kakar remarked that opposition should submit a requisition to summon the session. The ruling Pakistan Rehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senator Seemi Ezdi was the only one who opposed the summoning of the Senate.