Rehman Malik bigger than parliament?

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Interior Minister Rehman Malik seems to have grown bigger than the parliament, as he not just repeatedly skipped the meetings of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior despite requests to attend, but also told the committee that the chiefs of the ministry’s attached departments may not be summoned to appear before the parliamentary body.
Malik, who by virtue of his office is the ex-officio member of the Standing Committee on Interior, has been locked in a long tussle with Committee Chairman Senator Talha Mahmood, who belongs to the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F). Their rivalry is rooted in a number of issues, ranging from political to disagreement over the contents of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill and the definition of militants. Their views also clash on religious seminaries and similar issues linked with the war on terror. The Anti-Terrorism Bill proposed by the Interior Ministry is lying pending with the Standing Committee due to differences over its contents, which also increased friction between the two offices.
Senator Mahmood has been saying that Malik was showing disrespect to the parliamentary body by intentionally avoiding consecutive meetings of the Senate body and using his engagements as an excuse. On the contrary, Malik believes that the senator-led committee is overstepping from its domain. Sources in the parliament said Malik had also written a letter to Senate Chairman Farooq H Naik against Senator Mahmood, expressing his displeasure with the senator’s attitude towards ministry officials during committee meetings. The heat between the two offices further intensified when on August 27, Interior Ministry Section Officer Aitzaz-ud-Din sent a letter to Mahmood and told him to carry out correspondence on the committee’s matters with the ministry’s secretary. He also told the chairman that heads of the departments attached with the ministry might not be summoned to appear in-person before the standing committee.
The chairman, calling the letter a violation of Rule 165 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate, 1988, submitted a privilege motion in the Senate Secretariat against the section officer, a source in the parliament told Pakistan Today on Friday. He said the motion had been admitted and would be taken up in the coming session of the Senate. The tussle between Malik and the senator might cost heavily to the ministry official who sent the letter to Mahmood, as the motion would likely be referred to the House Privilege Committee to enable it to take appropriate action against the official, as has been demanded in the motion. The motion would very likely stoke the fire between the two offices until it is withdrawn.

2 COMMENTS

  1. There is no rule of law in Pakistan otherwise this baboon should have been behind the bars instead of supporting his terrorist friends in Karachi and interfering in the affairs of the Sindh government.

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