PML-N fails to form 37 NA standing committees


Despite the lapse of around four months, the PML-N has not notified the formation of around 33 National Assembly’s standing committees in violation of the relevant laws and against the parliamentary norms.
The matter is likely to be resolved soon after Eidul Azha as Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan would be taking up the matter with leader of the opposition Khursheed Shah and other parties, Pakistan Today has learnt.
A source in the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry said the prime minister had directed Nisar to remove differences between the coalition partners.
He added that the ministry had forwarded a summary to the PM’s office around one month back but it had received no response yet as Nawaz Sharif was reluctant to sign it until the resolution of the matter between the treasury and opposition parties.
A PML-N leader said that the standoff between coalition partners, continuous lobbying within the ruling party to head important standing committees and lack of interest on part of Nawaz had caused the inordinate delay in the notification.
“The bone of contention is the chairpersonship of the standing committee for the foreign affairs as JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman has requested the same for him while the leaders of PML-N, PML-F and Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) also desire to head the committee,” the source said, adding that same situation was for some other important committees.
“Some key members of the PML-N, who have been denied cabinet slots, also want to head the standing committees like interior, defence, petroleum and commerce but the influential ministers of these committees have blocked this process,” said the source, adding that the interior minister had been instrumental in this regard.
“Chaudhry Nisar is using his influence in the same manner in which he had got some names removed from the federal cabinet,” said the source, adding that this was the reason that Nawaz was reluctant to sign the summary.
Under the rules of procedure and conduct of business, the National Assembly has to elect members of all standing committees within 30 days of the election of the leader of the House (prime minister).
Rule 200 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in National Assembly 2007 (Amended up to December 2010) says, “(1) Except as otherwise provided in these rules, each Committee shall consist of not more than [twenty] members to be elected by the Assembly within thirty days after the ascertainment of the Leader of the House.”
As per rules, each committee will consist of not more than 17 members to be elected by the assembly within 30 days after the ascertainment of the leader of the house.
Nawaz was elected on June 5 and the timeline of 30 days ended on July 5. However, the government has failed in this regard.
State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Aftab Shaikh was not available for comment.
On September 11, Shaikh had told Pakistan Today that the committee members had been shortlisted. When told him that without election of chairpersons, the bodies were incomplete, Shaikh said more members would be notified and the chairpersons would be elected in the upcoming session. The revised summary is still pending with the Prime Minister’s Office.
He had said the PML-N would chair 17 committees of while the PPP would be given four, PTI three, MQM two, JUI-F one and FATA lawmakers would also head one committee.
PTI’s Deputy Parliamentary Leader Shah Mahmood Quershi has time and again raised the matter on the floor of the House.