ISLAMABAD                     -                The uncertain situation amidst Coronavirus crisis have confused the governments across the globe to how it smartly deal with novel disease.

The sudden increase of deaths due to COVID-19 in developed countries has multiplied the fear among the peoples and governments of underdeveloped countries, which were already struggling to overcome its economic challenges.

The threat of novel virus was first felt in Pakistan by the mid of March when all the parliamentary business were closed and partial lockdown was announced in different parts of countries.

The government engaging its attached departments had started its work but role of ‘supreme institution’ of country was still nowhere.

Speaker national assembly Asad Qaiser took an initiative to mobilize suspended functioning of parliamentary and proposed to form a bipartisan parliamentary committee on Coronavirus.

This committee only in its second meeting has rushed to approve [in its ToRs] to monitor the activities of NDMA in connection with the fight against COVID-19. This proposal was from opposition, compiled in a sub-committee to decide ToRs of main parliamentary committee on Coronavirus.

The scope of the parliamentary committee might further widen in upcoming meetings but the political experts believed that the main function of this body might be limited.

The opposition in current complex scenario has started feeling its diminishing role. The main opposition players from major political parties [PML-N and PPP-P] including leader of opposition in the national assembly Shehbaz Sharif and PPP-P’s Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had boycotted the first parliamentary meeting but it went unnoticed. They wanted Prime Minister Imran Khan to listen their suggestions and reservations and answer their queries related to arrangements to stop spread of Coronavirus.

In the complex scenario, the role of lawmakers mainly from opposition in their constituencies was comparatively not much visible. As, the elected MNAs [considered as influential and comparatively rich in the area] are seen supporting poor segments of society in difficult times such as earthquakes, floods etc.

Perhaps Prime Minister Imran Khan wants MNAs from opposition to play its role, as he recently made a bit harsh statement about opposition legislators for not supporting peoples of their areas in current scenario. On the other hands,  the opposition wants its role visible in the parliament. It was the suggestion of the opposition to give them access to monitor working of the government department including NDMA against deadly virus, which has become challenge across the globe.

The opposition has also showed its interest for starting online standing committees on health and finance. Whereas, the speaker national assembly has so far not given permission to start working of these committees. The opposition might has taken this idea from the parliamentarian of UK. As, around a week before around 100 member parliament MPs had written latter to its speaker for the creation of digital parliament.

 These British parliamentarians with their signatures had written a letter mentioning that in the “exceptional circumstances” of the coronavirus outbreak “Parliament must work exceptionally”.

Political and constitutional wizards believed that the parliamentary committee on Coronavirus would prove as window of opportunity for opposition to express their reservations. They also would soon convince or compel government to start online working of standing committees so that their participations could also be visible in current novel type of crisis due to Coronavirus.