NA calls upon President Ariaf Alvi to act in ‘non-partisan’ manner

ISLAMABAD – The National Assembly yesterday through an unprecedented resolution called upon President Arif Alvi to act in a non-partisan manner and perform his functions strictly in accordance with Article-48 of the Constitution.

The resolution, moved by independent MNA Mohsin Dawar, says the president is bound to protect and defend the Constitution. “According to his oath, the President will not allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct or his official decisions,” says the resolution approved with majority of votes. The house resolves that under the constitution of the Pakistan obedience to the Constitution and law is the inviolable obligation of every citizen wherever he may be and of every other person for the time being within Pakistan. About not accepting the summary moved by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for removal of Governor Punjab, the lawmakers take strong exception to unconstitutional stance taken by the President refusal to adhere to implement the constitution in letter and spirit and also to follow the norms of parliamentary democracy. Defending the reservations raised by the MNAs over the resolution, Minister for Law Azam Nazeer Tarar clarified that a legal and constitutional procedure was followed to remove the Governor Punjab.

Lower House passes resolution asking President to perform his functions strictly in accordance with Article-48 of Constitution

He said it is a parliamentary democracy and the President is bound to follow the advice of the Prime Minister under the constitution. “Everything is clearly stated in the constitution,” he said. Attorney General of Pakistan Ashtar Ausaf Ali also supported the remarks of the Law Minister saying there are also decisions of courts on the matter. The opposition lawmakers from Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) opposed the spirit of the resolution arguing that the President had the right to not remove the Governor. “Under Article-48, the action of the President is right,” said GDA’s senior member Ghous Bux Mahar. He was supported by party colleague Fehmida Mirza, as she argued that President was part of Parliament. She said, “Ruling of the Speaker cannot be challenged”. About parliamentary democracy, the former speaker strongly opposed the trend of turncoatism. “Lota Cracy (turncoatism) is not a good practice,” she remarked, inviting the wrath of PTI’s dissidents in the house. “We are not Lotas (turncoats) but PTI Chairman Imran Khan is a turncoat in a real manner,” commented PTI’s dissident Raja Riaz. The house, with the onset of the proceedings, witnessed heated remarks by the small opposition parties for not giving proper time to raise their issues. “We should be given proper time to raise the issues,” said GDA’s MNA Fehmida Mirza, mentioning the water scarcity issues in the province of Sindh.

A senior member from treasury benches assured the opposition lawmaker for giving proper reply by tomorrow [Thursday]. Earlier, the house was informed that wheat procurement target set for the current season will be achieved by the end of June. Minister for Commerce Naveed Qamar, during the question-hour, said that country was self-sufficient in wheat production but over the last two years, a shortfall had been witnessed.

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