PM reacts to Sadiq’s walkout, directs bureaucrats to comply with directives


ISLAMABAD: Two days after the protest of National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq over the absence of bureaucrats despite parliament’s orders, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan has directed the civil servants to adhere to the rules that bound them to timely respond to queries asked by the lawmakers.

Taking a notice of the lack of interest towards parliament’s directives, the PM, through a letter on Thursday, ordered all the federal ministries and division to act in compliance with the laws when it comes to queries asked by the parliamentarians.

On Tuesday, the NA speaker had staged a walkout from the NA session, being angry over the absence of the interior ministry’s officials, saying that he couldn’t tolerate disrespect of the house.

The NA had summoned the officials to answer the questions pertaining to the draft bills concerning prevention of drugs in educational institutes and compulsory drugs tests of students.

Expressing his displeasure over lack of decorum, Sadiq had said: “I will continue staging walkouts until Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi gives a written assurance that such scenario will not happen again.”

The PM in his letter observed that this situation not only indicates clear inefficiency on the part of the relevant administrative secretaries, but also reflects negatively on the relevant ministers and ministers of state.

PM Abbasi further asked the administrative officers of the ministries and divisions to ensure the presence of the officials concerned when summoned by the house.  “It has been brought to the notice of the prime minister by the National Assembly speaker that parliamentary business relating to various ministries and divisions and attached departments remain un-responded in a large number of cases. The speaker has also cited specific instances where a significant number of questions and calling attention notices remained un-answered by ministries and divisions,” the letter stated.

PM Abbasi further said that the relevant federal secretary shall be responsible for the disposal of the parliamentary business within the prescribed time with a prior approval of the minister concerned.

Moreover, the cabinet secretary would ensure that in case of any lapse in the future, responsibility would be fixed immediately and it would be brought to the notice of the prime minister as well, the letter added.