The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Rules and Procedure on Procedure and Privileges was held on Wednesday at Parliament House.
The meeting was chaired by Senator Muhammad Tahir Bizenjo. Members who attended were Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt, Senator Irfan-ul-Haq Siddiqui Senator Liaqat Khan Tarakai, Senator Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, and senior officers from the Ministry Parliamentary Affairs along with all concerned. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Ali Muhammad Khan was present as well.
The Meeting commenced with a written apology tendered by Secretary Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs for his absence in the previous meeting held on 4th August, 2021. The Committee accepted the apology, but was of the view that the Ministry must be careful about Committee etiquettes in the future. Chairman Committee, Senator Tahir Bizenjo reiterated the importance of the presence of the Minister is meetings that discuss amendments in rules so that all corners may be vetted thoroughly.
Deliberation ensued over the proposed amendment in Rule 9 and insertion of the Fourth Schedule in the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Senate 2012, introduced by Senator Mian Raza Rabbani during the sitting of the Senate held on 12th July, 2021.
Reviewing the comments of the Ministry of the proposed amendments the Committee deliberated over its pros and cons. While discussing Article 20 that deals with the right of appeal, the amendment recommended that an appellate forum against the decision of the presiding officer must consist of three Chairmen Senate who had held the last three consecutive office. It was asserted that these former Chairmen must not be part of the Senate. Party affiliations must be toned down as well. The Committee was of the view that achieving such stringent criteria would be a cumbersome task and the conditions for members of this forum must be broadened. These could include members of the Senate known for their stance and stand in the House. It was recommended that deliberation over including members who thought beyond party lines in the greater interest of Pakistan.
Senator Mian Raza Rabbani agreed to review the recommendation and include the suggestions. He recommended that all members must review the standard of procedure for appeal internationally for elections of the Speaker/Deputy Speaker. Members of the Committee were of the view that a sub-Committee must be constituted to ensure that all recommendations are minutely reviewed before being included.