ISLAMABAD, Dec 19 (APP):Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser Wednesday said there was no deadlock between the government and opposition on the issue of standing committees and he was making effort to set up committees before the next session of the National Assembly.
In an interview to BBC Urdu, he said the government and the opposition had reached an agreement on the issue of standing committees and the chairmanships would be given according to the formula decided in the last government.
He said the committees which were with the opposition would remain with them, while those chaired by the previous government would be with the present government. The perception of deadlock was only in the media and newspapers, he added.
On the matter of giving chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to Shehbaz Sharif, he said the prime minister and opposition had their own viewpoint and he (Speaker) engaged both of them and the issue was resolved. The prime minister showed magnanimity and the chairmanship of PAC was given to opposition leader. On this issue, he said, he convinced the prime minister.
To a question about change in stance of the government, the speaker said it was not a u turn but an adjustment and a good leader takes decisions keeping in view interest of the nation. He was of the view that the reputation of the government depended on how much it would legislate.
To a question about lack of legislation in the first 100 days of the PTI government, the speaker said performance of the government should be judged on the basis of its five years. “We will undertake quality legislation and this will remain our priority.”
He said the legislation would be done on making changes in civil procedure and law of National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
He agreed that polarization was at its height in the National Assembly and said his effort would be to bring the government and opposition on the same table. The government had a “good opposition” and when the opposition was strong, it helped improve performance of the government, he remarked.
“We are facing criticism and we are responding. The opposition is registering its protest which is its legal right. My effort is to bring them at a stage where they express their viewpoint and protest but stay within the parliamentary norms and rules of the assembly.”
He said the issue of question hour for the prime minister was delayed because the opposition wanted that the matter should be first discussed in a committee. The delay was due to the fact that the committees were not constituted.
To a question about issuance of production orders of Shehbaz Sharif and Saad Rafique, he said the issue of both of them was different as Shehbaz Sharif was leader of the opposition. “I have to run the assembly, engage different stakeholders and bring things on track,” he added.
He said he wanted to hold consultation on the matter of issuance of production orders of Saad Rafique.