Senate Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges in its meeting on Wednesday strongly registered its protest on the absence of Inspector General of Police Islamabad and Secretary Interior by deferring the meeting without taking up discussion on agenda. Chairperson Committee Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq observed that the meeting cannot be conducted while the administrative heads of the concerned departments are absent without any intimation and have not even bothered to nominate the Additional Inspector General and Additional Secretary respectively to attend the meeting.
The Committee meeting was called on a single point agenda regarding privilege motion of Senator Behramand Tangi in the incident of Lathi charge upon the Senator who went to observe the court proceedings on 25 March, 2019 with respect to the cases of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman Pakistan People’s Party. Senators John Kenneth Williams, Nighat Mirza, Khanzada Khan, Manzoor Ahmed Kakar, the mover and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati were present in the meeting. The Chairperson remarked that all the members have taken time out to attend the meeting and have travelled from outside Islamabad and the officials haven’t considered it important enough to make it to the meeting or at least intimate the reasons of absence.
Members of the Committee with different political affiliations had a collective opinion, beyond party lines, that no other meeting can have priority over meetings of Parliamentary Committees and this callous attitude signals the lack of respect towards institutions. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati reiterated the voice of the committee in the protest and assured the Committee of the presence of concerned Secretary and heads of departments in next meetings, saying that no excuses can be accepted. Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq added that this attitude is also damaging the government’s drive for austerity in the government sector as many resources have now been used for this meeting with no fruitful conclusion coming out due to absence of concerned officials.