ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq on Monday took strong exception to the absence of senior bureaucrats during the assembly session to answer questions related to their ministries and summoned them on the spot.

The House saw an interesting state of affairs when the chair ordered secretaries of relevant ministries including the Petroleum and Natural Resources and the Capital Administration and the Development Division (CADD) to immediately turn up in House.

CADD Minister Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Parliamentary Secretary for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahzadi Tiwana were asked to ensure the presence of the senior officials in the House immediately. They were seen making contacts, through the ministries, with the secretaries to ensure their presence in the House. They had hardly reached the House after an hour late, many lawmakers, on the arrival of the secretaries concerned and other officials, were seen thumping the desk with smiles on their faces.

The speaker, in a harsh tone, directed the senior officers to completely attend the proceedings of the House in the next two days. “You have to mark your attendance with thumb impression at 10:30 in the House,” the speaker said.

He also snubbed the officials when they entered the House to represent their ministries. “You don’t know the manners as you are entering the House, keeping water bottles in your hands,” he said.

In the same tone, he strongly criticized other officials for not ensuring the presence of the secretary level officials even after passing an hour. “I’m not going anywhere. I will sit till 12 am to wait for the secretaries and the House will remain in motion,” he said. On it, the lawmakers from both sides of the aisle thumped the desk.

The chair also refused to allow Tariq Fazal Chaudhry to lay the CDA (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, till the arrival of the CADD secretary in the officials’ gallery.

The minister said that the secretary was on a two-day leave and the additional secretary was supposed to attend the proceedings.

Taking the floor, Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah said that ministers and the parliamentarians were not giving importance to the parliament. “First, the presence of the ministers should be ensured in the House,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tariq Fazal Chaudhry laid the Capital Development Authority (CDA) Amendment Ordinance, 2018 in the House.

Opposition MNAs strongly opposed the ‘CDA (Amendment) Ordinance’. “Why an ordinance was promulgated during the session of the National Assembly. It means you are interested to even invite civil servants to sit in the House (parliament),” said PPP’s Naveed Qamar.

PTI’s Shafqat Mehmood, MQM’s S Iqbal Qadari and JI’s Sher Akbar Khan also strongly opposed the ordinance.  PTI’s Shafqat Mehmood said that there has already been unprecedented corruption in the civic body (CDA). He also referred to cases like Safa Gold Mall, One Constitution Avenue (twin towers) and others.