Deadlock over Senate Opp leader continues to mar budget debate | Pakistan Today

Deadlock over Senate Opp leader continues to mar budget debate

The controversial appointment of the Senate opposition leader continued to mar the debate on the federal budget of 2011-12 in the Upper House of parliament for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday as deadlock over the issue continued, with the JUI-F and the PPP wanting to take their time dealing with it, while the PML-N and other opposition parties wanted their grievances vis-à-vis the opposition zeader’s appointment addressed swiftly.
The Senate chairman remained indecisive on how and when to get the opinion of legal experts representing the Senate on the issue, as was decided on Wednesday, in the face of divergent points of view from the two sides. However, all members seemed united on the decision that the matter must be resolved on the floor of the House and not in court.
Raja Zafarul Haq of the PML-N was the first among the members to ask Senate Chairman Farooq H Naek to resolve the issue at the earliest, saying that the two parties could not resolve it mutually.
Muhammad Khan Sherani of the JUI-F, however, asked the chairman to give priority to the issue of a young man’s brutal murder by Rangers in Karachi on Wednesday, saying that the rest of the matters could be settled later. Naeem Hussain Chattha from among the PML-Quaid dissidents rose to endorse Raja Zafarul Haq’s point of view, stressing that the chairman resolve the issue as soon as possible.
Gul Naseeb and Haji Ghulam Ali of the JUI-F sought an appropriate amount of time for the lawyer senators to prepare for arguments on the issue, but Jamal Leghari warned that if any party approached the court on the issue, it would undermine the supremacy of parliament.
“I would like to have a meeting again to resolve the issue amicably,” Naek said after the debate. However, newly-appointed Senate Opposition Leader Abdul Ghafoor Haideri asked the chairman to stand firm on the decision taken earlier.
Abdul Raziq, Azam Khan Swati, Maulana Sherani, Sabir Baloch and Kazim Khan asked the chairman to resume the debate on the budget first and examine the issue of the opposition leader’s appointment later, while Prof Khurshid and Humayun Khan Mandokhel pressed the chairman to resolve the issue before any of the two parties approached the court.
In view of the opposing proposals from the two sides, Naek announced the dates to hear arguments of the legal experts for later, thus provoking the opposition parties, except the JUI-F, to stage a walkout from the House. Jamal Leghari of the PML-Q dissidents, who stayed, pointed out quorum, but the House was found in order and debate on the budget resumed.

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