ISLAMABAD - The opposition in the Senate Thursday demanded of the government to summon regular session of the Upper House of the Parliament saying 108 days have passed since the house met last time.

It also urged the government to summon joint sitting of the parliament to form a national policy on the challenges the country is facing internally and externally. The opposition parties in the Senate maintained that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was violating the Constitution by not summoning the regular session of the house as it was bound to do so under Article 61 of the Constitution.

The government had summoned the last regular session of the Senate on August 29 that prorogued on September 3.  After this, Chairman Senate Mohammad Sadiq Sanjrani, in exercise of the powers conferred by clause 3 of Article 54 of the Constitution, summoned the Senate on November 5 on the requisition of opposition parties that prorogued on November 15.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq said in a statement that the government has not summoned the session for the last 108 days. “Now it apparently looks impossible that the house would not complete the required days, necessary to meet in a parliamentary year, under the Constitution.”

108 days have passed since the house met last time

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Raja Zafar also demanded that the government should summon the joint sitting of the parliament without any delay to discuss the challenges the country is facing internally and externally. “Especially, a difficult situation is emerging in Indian Occupied Kashmir and such steps are being taking by Indian government which have invited an outcry and there was need to form a national policy by summoning the joint sitting,” he added.

Separately, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), another opposition party, demanded from the government to summon fresh session of the Senate.Parliamentary Leader of PPP in the Senate Ms Sherry Rehman in a statement expressed her shock over the “government’s dill delaying tactics” to summon the Senate what she said that 108 days have passed since the house met last time on a regular basis.

She mentioned that under Article 61 of the Constitution, the upper house has to meet at least for 110 days during a complete parliamentary year. “The government is violating the Constitution by not summoning the session,” she added.

PPP Senator Rehman further said that the country was facing many issues and the session should be summoned to discuss these challenges besides problems of the masses. “Similarly, the situation along the Line of Control has escalated, the situation is worst in IOK, and the questions are being raised in the country on the failure of the government’s diplomacy,” she said adding that government should come in the parliament and sort out these issues.She went on to say that the government had promulgated 24 ordinances up till now while bypassing the parliament. “It has no interest in legislation and parliament…They are running the country through ordinances,” she said and questioned why PTI was frightened with the majority of opposition in Senate.

“The government should immediately summon the session,” she demanded and said that perhaps the government was evading the democratic principles and the opposition to face.PPP lawmaker said that the government did not allow the lawmakers either to introduce he bills or to reject already introduced draft laws in the last requisitioned session. “The house has been virtually paralyzed and this will create a constitutional crisis.” The house has to complete 110 days during this parliamentary year and now if session is held on daily basis, even then it cannot touch the required number, she concluded.