ISLAMABAD                     -            Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani on Friday sought an effective roadmap from the House Committee on rules for convening the virtual session of Upper House, in the wake of outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, to adopt strategies and legislation to fight the disease.

In a letter written to the Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, the Chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges, Sanjrani sought recommendations for convening the virtual session keeping in view the constitutional and rules position as well as international practices.

“Parliaments all over the world are grappling with the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their Constitutional obligations, such as oversight, lawmaking and public involvement,” he said.

He in his letter mentioned the meeting of Senate’s House Business Advisory Committee, held on April 15 through video link, and said that it discussed in detail the “hardships being faced in transacting the legislative business” amidst outbreak of coronavirus and constitutional role of the house.

The advisory committee had considered the holding of session virtually and after discussing various modalities, it had referred the matter to committee on rules.

The Committee should recommend on “holding virtual session of the Senate during existing extra ordinary circumstances amid COVID-19, keeping in view the Constitutional requirements/obligations (especially Article 55 read with Article 61 of the Constitution of Pakistan, rules position and evolving international practices,” reads the letter, a copy of which is available with The Nation.

It further added that the committee should give recommendations to make amendments in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012, if required, for holding the virtual session.