NA, Senate repose trust in Gilani
Asim Yasin and Muhammad Anis
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly and the Senate in their separate resolutions adopted on Thursday reposed full confidence in the ‘democratically and unanimously elected’ Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, a move seen as PPP’s response to the PML-N’s vociferous protest in the National Assembly asking the prime minister to step down following his conviction in the contempt of court case.
The passage of the resolution in the National Assembly amid raucous PML-N protests drew a clear line between the PPP and its allies and the PML-N, with one side reposing confidence in him and the other declaring that he was no longer member of parliament after being convicted by the Supreme Court.
The adoption of the resolution came less than 18 hours after the opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan wrote to Prime Minister Gilani on the issue of the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner. In the letter, Ch Nisar did not address him as prime minister but simply as Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani. “The passage of two resolutions today by the government was nothing more than gimmickry,” the opposition leader later told newsmen.
Thursday’s proceedings further raised the political temperature in the National Assembly, which saw PML-N’s Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali and Akhunzada Chattan of the PPP scuffle and come to blows before they were separated. The PML-N members encircled the prime minister’s chair and the space in front of the Speaker and virtually made it impossible for Gilani to enter the National Assembly.
The resolution, introduced by law minister Farooq H. Naek, said the House reposes complete confidence in Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani as the constitutional and democratically elected prime minister and unanimously elected chief executive of this country. “This House commends the prime minister for upholding the majesty of law by personally appearing thrice on being summoned by the Houorable Supreme Court, and showing great humility and respect to the Apex Court,” the resolution said.
The resolution further stated that the House also appreciates the firmness and dignity displayed by Prime Minster Gilani in upholding the constitution and the parliamentary democracy in the country.
It said the House also wishes to reaffirm its belief in the constitutional procedure for the disqualification of a prime minister from holding the office and that any other procedure adopted will be considered as unconstitutional. Earlier, the proceedings of the Lower House started with a delay of two hours, which the government spent in drafting the two resolutions to give some effective response to the PML-N protest.
By holding siege of chair of leader of the house, they virtually made it impossible for the Prime Minister to come to the house and occupy his seat. They also carried placards inscribed with slogans ‘No to corruption’, ‘Go Gilani Go’ etc.
The current session of the National Assembly is likely to be prorogued on Friday. In the Senate, leader of the House Jehangir Badar introduced similar resolution but unlike in the National Assembly the PML-N had already walked out from the Senate during the Question Hour while the other opposition party, JUI-F of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, was present in the House and did not object to the resolution nor oppose it.
Through the resolution the Upper House commended the prime minister ‘for upholding the majesty of law by personally appearing thrice on being summoned by the Supreme Court and showing great humility and respect of the Apex Court. The House also appreciated the firmness and dignity displayed by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in upholding the constitution and the parliamentary democracy in the country’.
The Upper House also ‘reaffirmed its belief in the constitutional procedure for the disqualification of prime minister from holding the office and that any other procedure adopted will be considered as unconstitutional’.
After the passage of the resolution, the parliamentary leader of ANP in the Senate Haji Adeel said his party fully supported the resolution and congratulated the prime minister on the passage of the resolution.
He said the prime minister has always upheld the Constitution and supremacy of Parliament. “Yusuf Raza Gilani is the only prime minister who was summoned thrice by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and he appeared on all occasions to show respect for the apex court.” Haji Adeel said his party would continue to support the prime minister.