Raza Rabbani displeased over PM’s departure to Saudi Arabia amid protests


ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani expressed displeasure over the absence of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from the session, saying the premier should have stayed in the country due to the law and order situation, instead of leaving for Saudi Arabia.

Rabbani also expressed displeasure over Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s absence from the session.

Criticising the interior minister, the Senate chairman said that he can reach the high court in 15 minutes, but was not interested in the parliament and its affairs and asked who would brief the ministers if the interior minister did not. Ahsan Iqbal should have attended the Senate session as the country has just undergone a critical phase, Rabbani added.

He was addressing the recent developments concerning the law minister’s resignation, the operation which was held to clear the protesters and the ensuing protests which led to disruption in the country’s law and order situation.

State Minister for Interior Talal Chaudhry, present in the session, asked for time until Tuesday and said that the lawmakers would be apprised then.

Delimitations bill not passed

The Senate session was adjourned without the bill on the delimitation of constituencies being passed. The session was held for the fourth time to discuss the bill, which has been approved by the National Assembly.

The Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2017 pertains to the fresh delimitation of constituencies in line with the provisional results of the latest census for general elections next year.

Previously, the upper house tried thrice to pass the bill but the absence of lawmakers, from both the opposition and treasury benches, always delayed the bill. According to the new delimitation, Punjab’s seats in the National Assembly will decrease by nine while Islamabad will get one, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa five and Balochistan three more seats.

NA seats for Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Sindh will remain unchanged.