ISLAMABAD -  Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani on Tuesday summoned a crucial session of the Senate tomorrow (Thursday) on the requisition of opposition parties to discuss a host of political and foreign policy issues.

The house will also discuss Panama Papers case, Dawn Leaks inquiry report, lynching of Mardan University’s student Mashal Khan and recent incidents of firing by Afghan forces along the Pak-Afghan border.

In exercise of the powers conferred by clause 3 of Article 54 read with Article 61 of the Constitution, the Chairman Senate has been pleased to summon the Senate in the Parliament Building on Thursday (May 11) at 3: 30pm, says a statement issued by the Senate Secretariat.

As many as 31 senators of the position parties in the Senate, including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and Awami National Party (ANP) had submitted a requisition with the Senate Secretariat for summoning the fresh session of the Upper House.

According to Senate Secretariat sources, the session will continue for two days.

PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar, who is also a signatory of the requisition, said that the opposition parties will open the debate in two days sessions on firing of Afghan forces, Panama Leaks verdict, Dawn Leaks report, rising incidents of militancy and Mashal Khan murder case and other issues. “The opposition will point out that a meeting of recently held Council of Common Interests (CCI) did not discuss most of the agenda items,” he said. The position parties will hold a meeting prior to the session where they will decide all the issues that would be discussed in the session.

Under the rules, the Senate chairman has to convene a session of the house within 14 days after submission of the requisition but the chairman can exercise his discretion to fix its final date.

“We the members of the Senate whose signatures are appended herewith, do hereby requisition the Session of the Senate under Article 54(3) read with Article 61 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, to discuss the following amongst other issues,” says the text of the resolution submitted with the Senate Secretariat.

The agenda of the requisition includes: “rise in incidents of terrorism in the wake of tragic incident of killing of Mashal Khan, tendency of the family of the Prime Minister to use influence of their constitutional office to advance their transnational business interests and firing of Federal Information Minister Senator Pervez Rashid on the convoluted pretext and perverse allegation that he failed to block a news item planted by the Prime Minister himself through his officials”.

It also includes the non-publication of the report of Dawn Leaks Inquiry Committee, bugging of official meetings by the Media Cell headed by the Prime Minister’s daughter, government’s attempt to influence and manipulate the constitution of Joint Investigation Team (JIT) in the Panama Case.

According to the agenda, the opposition parties will also discuss the interference of Governor Sindh in political matters in clear violation of the Constitution, misrepresentation of Federal Minister of State for Water and Power in the Senate regarding the supply of irrigation water to provinces and physical blocking of leaders of a political party from holding of press conference in the Press Information Department of the government.

The lawmakers will hold a debate on the dropping of discussion on implementation of Article 158 from the delayed meeting of CCI of May 2, non-participation of the Prime Minister in discussion of 12 items out of the 13 item agenda of the delayed CCI meeting of May 2, 2017 and the  abduction of three close aides to former President Asif Ali Zardari and the onward recovery of the two.

According to the official sources in the Senate secretariat, a regular session of the upper house was supposed to be convened on May 8 as per its tentative schedule of the parliamentary year but the government delayed the session. Under the procedure, the government moves a summary to the President for summoning of the session of any house of the parliament. The official sources said that the session was delayed because the government was expecting a tough reaction from the opposition over the verdict of Supreme Court in Panama Papers case.