President urges for debate on legislation in parliament instead of media

ISLAMABAD, Feb 22 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi Monday urged the opposition to debate the open ballot legislation in the parliament instead of media as around 150 bills were stuck up in the legislature owing to the ongoing confrontation.

“If traffic light is off, what would you do? Would you leave in chaos (Or is it better) if anyone guides the traffic as it has to move. Law provides for ordinance. We did not violate any law,” he said in an interview with a private television channel.

The president said many laws of public interest like women rights were stuck up in the parliament owing to confrontation which necessitated the promulgation of the ordinance.

He said the number of ordinances issued by the incumbent government was far lesser than the previous government.

He said in the past, the governments with even two-third majority had been issuing ordinances.

About the ordinance for Senate election through open ballot, Dr Arif Alvi said the opposition leaders including Nawaz Sharif had been calling for open ballot. But when the government had brought a legislation on the open ballot, the opposition was trying to find excuse to reject it.

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He said the ordinance was issued before the announcement of the election schedule otherwise such an amendment could not be possible later on.

He said the opposition should be debating the legislation in parliament, not television, or through communication.

“What should the government do? Should they touch their feet to convince them for debate,” he asked.

The president explained that during 2019 and 2020 he had promulgated around 41 to 45 ordinances but PPP government issued 110 ordinances in 1996, PML-N issued 94 in 1997 and even the government with two-third majority issued 18 ordinances in 2015.

The president said he was convinced that he had done nothing wrong by sending reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa because the Supreme Judicial Council was the suitable forum to look into the allegations.

To a question, Dr Arif Alvi said in a tweet, he had announced to get COVID-19 vaccine and also assured of not breaking the queue.

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He said in fact the queues used to be broken in the past. Even the elite in the US had been breaking the queues.

He said the refusal for vaccine was found in every society but through his tweet, he tried to address both the subjects including acceptance of the vaccine as well as awaiting the turn.

He said earlier, the 18th amendment was a hammer in president’s hand to topple the government, but as it had been done away with.

The president said he had been actively working on women rights, their inheritance rights, information technology and others besides the First Lady also running a comprehensive drive on breast cancer.

He said as per his commitment, he regularly visited his chamber in the parliament and also kept on indirect conversation with the opposition leaders for cooperation.

Even, he had also talked to Maulana Fazlur Rehman for discussion on the issue of opening of mosques for Tarawih prayer during first wave of COVID-19, he added.