KP Lawmakers Pledge to Empower Committees, Introduce Zero Hour

PESHAWAR, March 2, 2017: The lawmakers of the Provincial Assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) stressed the need to include provisions of Zero Hour and empowerment of committees in Assembly’s Rules of Procedure during second meeting of the Legislative Support Group (LSG) organized by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) here.

Deputy Speaker KP Assembly Dr. Mehar Taj Roghani presided over the LSG meeting, comprising provincial lawmakers of PTI, PML-N, JUI-F, PPPP and ANP. The group was formed in November last year with the support of FAFEN for cross-party collaboration on legislative reforms agenda. The lawmakers reviewed the progress on the legislative reforms proposed during the first LSG meeting. FAFEN briefed the members on the best parliamentary practices in various legislatures across the globe.

PML-N lawmaker Amina Sardar appreciated FAFEN’s support for the reforms in the rules of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. She shared with other lawmakers the amendments she had proposed, which are now pending for the review of Committee on Privileges, Rules of Procedure and Implementation on Government Assurances.

Dr. Roghani, who is also the chairperson of the committee, pledged that the proposed amendments of the lawmakers would be given due consideration in the next committee’s meeting.

The Deputy Speaker shared that major portion of the proceedings was consumed in Points of Order, which are basically constituency-related matters and not the business of the House. She hoped to introduce meaningful reforms in the Rules of Procedure before the expiration of the incumbent Assembly’s term.

PTI lawmaker Zareen Riaz supported the proposal to introduce Zero Hour in the KP Assembly to discuss constituency-related urgent matters. Another member, Dina Naz informed the participants about the Assembly’s recent initiatives on the matters of transparency.

While discussing the issue of difference between actual sittings and the working days of the Assembly raised by JUI-F’s Mufti Fazal Ghafoor, the provincial lawmakers vowed to bring a resolution in the House, recommending the federal government to redefine assembly’s working days through constitutional amendment. Currently, under the constitution, a recess of two days occurring between two sittings of a session is considered as working days.

Another JUI-F lawmaker Shah Hussain shared his views on the lapse of members’ notices on the prorogation of a session. He proposed to amend the rules to ensure that the lawmakers’ agenda does not suffer due to an early adjournment of the proceedings.

Syed Jafar Shah of ANP applauded FAFEN’s initiative to form Legislative Support Group and supported its proposals for bringing reforms in the Assembly’s rules and procedures. He emphasized the need to strengthen the standing committees and make provision for their mandatory role in the legislative procedure.

The lawmakers also discussed issues pertaining to the delegated legislation and called for activation of the Assembly’s Committee on Subordinate Legislation.

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