Opp senators call session to discuss ‘conflict between state institutions’, Dar’s indictment


ISLAMABAD: Opposition members in the Senate on Wednesday requisitioned a session to discuss the “growing conflict between state institutions”.

The requisition notice carries a nine-point agenda which also includes a call for a discussion over the indictment of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The request was filed two days after Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal lashed out at the Pakistan Rangers after they took over security of the accountability court where Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif had appeared for a hearing even though their deployment had not been requisitioned by the authorities concerned.

The Rangers had barred PML-N leaders, lawyers, journalists and supporters of the ousted prime minister from entering the premises of the Federal Judicial Complex during the hearing. The resulting ruckus had raised several questions regarding who had given the order for the Rangers deployment at the complex if the interior minister himself was unaware of the move.

The opposition has also sought a discussion in Senate on the continued holding of the finance minister’s office by a person “indicted with grave financial crimes”.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was indicted by an accountability court last week in a corruption reference filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). NAB filed the Supreme Court-mandated reference against Dar for “possessing assets beyond his known sources of income”.

Furthermore, the agenda also calls for a discussion on the possibility of the appointment of a disqualified person to an office in a political party.

The requisition, therefore, places on the agenda of the Senate a discussion of the Elections Act 2017, which the government recently bulldozed through the National Assembly despite strong protests from the opposition.

Following the move, Nawaz Sharif had been re-elected PML-N head unopposed on Tuesday.

The agenda also calls for a discussion on reservations regarding the recently-held population and housing census, enforced disappearances and the water shortage in the country.

Separately, the PPP has filed a motion in the Senate Secretariat calling for a discussion on the case of Indian spy Kulbashan Jadhav being heard in the International Court of Justice .

Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Field General Court Martial in April. In May, India moved the ICJ against Pakistan, accusing the latter of violating the Vienna Convention in the case of the Indian spy.

During the hearing of the case at the Peace Palace in The Hague on May 15, Pakistan maintained that the ICJ did not have jurisdiction to hear the Indian application.

On May 18, announcing its verdict in the case, the ICJ had rejected Pakistan’s arguments and issued an order staying the execution of the Indian spy.

The motion filed by Senator Sehar Kamran states that the government has failed at pleading Pakistan’s case before the ICJ and therefore, the international court has halted the execution of the Indian spy.