ISLAMABAD - The upper house of the Parliament Wednesday, showing concern over the decision of the government to rake up recommendations of Counterterrorism Action Plan Committee at the parliamentary parties’ meeting for their approval, said the Parliament was the only right forum to discuss and approve these recommendations.

The Senate also warned the government that it would not endorse any decision of Wednesday’s parliamentary parties meeting in this connection.

Following these remarks, the opposition as well as treasury benches except the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz staged a token walkout from the House, saying the government was not ready to give due importance to the Parliament, especially the Senate, and decisions were being taken in the parliamentary parties’ conference that should have been made in the Parliament.

Such remarks first came from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senior leader, Mian Raza Rabbani, at a time when the parliamentary parties’ meeting was in progress with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the chair.

The recommendations (of CT Action Plan Committee that have been presented today (Wednesday) at the multi-party conference should have been presented before the Parliament,” Raza Rabbani said on a point of order. He said the Parliament was the right forum for this purpose and a joint session of the Parliament should have been summoned. “But it looks that the ruling PML-N has boycotted this House and sidelined the Parliament as well,” he said. He viewed that the Parliament should take a lead to make a narrative on counterterrorism. He also objected that no member of the ruling PML-N was present in the house.

Haji Adeel of Awami National Party (ANP) also condemned the government for not considering the Senate as part of the Parliament and warned the house would not endorse the decisions of the parliamentary parties’ conference.

“The government thinks that the Parliament means only the National Assembly,” he said and added even parliamentary leaders of some parties in the Senate had not been invited to the multi-party conference. “We are staging walkout from the house in protest,” he said after a protest walkout of all the opposition parties in the House, including MQM. Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) from the treasury benches also joined the protest. Senate Deputy Chairman Sabir Baloch remarked the upper house was being disgraced.

Zahid Khan of ANP, during a short sitting of the house, said the government had disgraced the Parliament, especially the upper house. He said the house should be prorogued if the government was not serious to run it smoothly. He criticised the government over absence of ministers from the house.

Later, the house was adjourned for lack of quorum till Friday. First, the house was adjourned for half an hour after an opposition lawmaker pointed out lack of quorum. When the proceedings were resumed, the count was made and the house consequently adjourned due to lack of quorum.