ISLAMABAD  -  Mian Shehbaz Sharif was 8th Parliamentarian in the last decade produced in the Lower House on production orders but his arrival had uniqueness as he was the first opposition leader to attend the NA sitting in such manner.

Sharif, who is in NAB custody for his alleged involvement in Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme case, was produced in a sitting of the National Assembly held on Wednesday.

His production order was issued by Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser under Section 108 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly, 2007. Under the said rule, the Speaker National Assembly or a Chairman of the Committee can summon a member in custody on the charge of a non-bailable offence to attend a sitting or sittings of the house or any committee.

The detaining authority whatsoever, it is bound to produce a lawmaker following the directions issued by the aforementioned people. As per routine, the detaining authority hands over the arrested lawmaker to sergeant-at-arms of Parliament House upon his or her arrival. They are bound to hand over such member back to the detaining authority after conclusion of a sitting or meeting.

According to official documents, Chaudhry Amir Hussain was speaker in recent Parliamentary history, who issued production orders for Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) lawmaker from Karak, Shah Abdul Aziz, to enable him to attend session of the National Assembly in year 2007.

The said lawmaker was in custody of Islamabad police for having allegedly supported Maulana Abdul Aziz and Maulana Abdul Rashid Ghazi of the Lal Masjid.

In 2010, Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza issued production orders for Syed Hamid Saeed Kazmi who was in jail for his alleged involvement in Hajj Corruption Scandal. He was then Federal Minister for Religious Affairs in the government of Pakistan Peoples’ Party.

Mirza issued second production orders in year 2011 for a lawmaker of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) from Islamabad, Anjam Aqeel, who was arrested on the charges of corruption in Police Foundation.

However, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq stood at the top for issuing production orders for detained members as he summoned Shah Jahan Baloch in 2014, Naveed Jamil in 2016 and Jamshad Dasti in 2017.

According to the sources inside NA secretariat, there were a number of other parliamentarians in the past who attended house proceeding on production orders but their proper record was not available.

Taking part in the proceedings of the National Assembly from jail or custody is a privilege for lawmakers to address the house and pour out their hearts if they are victimised.

This opportunity was successfully utilised by Shehbaz Sahrif not only presenting his defence in the instant case but he also tried to pin his arrest with an alleged nexus of the NAB and ruling Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf.

 

 

 

 

Muhammad Asad Chaudhry