ISLAMABAD - Ignoring the request of Minister Fawad Chaudhry, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser may not take action over the continued absence of Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Mian Shehbaz Sharif from Parliament.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, around a week before, had written a letter to NA Speaker Asad Qaiser to take notice over the absence of Mian Shehbaz Sharif from Parliament.  Terming it a clear violation of Assembly rules, Minister said that the absence of Mian Shehbaz Sharif is ‘violation of Assembly rules’. Whereas, the rules of procedure and conduct of business in national assembly allows MNAs to take leave from the Parliament.

“A member desirous of obtaining leave of absence from any sitting of the assembly shall make an application in writing addressed to the Speaker stating reasons for this absence,” according to the prescribed rules of procedure.

It says, “If a member who has been granted leave of absence under these rules, attendance the session of the Assembly during the period of which leave of absence has been granted to him, the unexpired portion of the leave from the date of his resumed attendance shall lapse,”.

Following the prescribed rules of procedures, sources said that the Speaker will not force Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif to attend the Parliament.

The main Opposition party – PML-N has also strongly criticized the non-attendance of Prime Minister Imran Khan from the National Assembly session. Like, the PTI’s MNAs did in past over the long absence of former minister Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Talking to the Nation, former Deputy Speaker/ PML-N MNA Murtaza Javed Abbasi said that Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly has not violated any rule.

“Minister should also compare absence of Leader of House/Prime Minister Imran Khan with Leader of Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif,” he said, mentioning that Prime Minister had hardly marked presence for seven to eight days in last year.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif is in London with his brother/ former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for medical treatment.

Political observers said that the Speaker had hardly taken any strict notice over long absence of lawmakers from the Parliamentary session. PTI’s MNAs, in previous government era, had not attended the Parliamentary sessions for 126 days but the then Speaker had not taken any action on the issue.