PAK WITHDRAWS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL
Muzaffarabad, Feb 7: The government of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) on Tuesday withdrew an allegedly controversial constitutional amendment bill from the joint sitting of PaK Legislative Assembly and the PaK Council, announcing to bring a comprehensive amendment package in consultation with all political parties.
The withdrawal, which was announced by Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed, kindled a cordial atmosphere in the house with opposition open-heartedly expressing admiration of the move.
Aimed primarily at increasing PaK Council membership, the 12th amendment bill was introduced by the government in the Legislative Assembly on February 3 amid serious resistance and walkout by main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
The PaK’s interim constitution, it may be mentioned here, can be amended by simple majority of the joint sitting and Tuesday’s session was supposed to hold debate on the bill, followed by voting.
However, before the house could initiate debate on the bill, Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed took the floor and while reiterating his resolve the take the entire house along announced withdrawal of the bill.
“The Peoples Party government earnestly wants to take the entire leadership of base camp (PaK) along with it and will therefore bring a full constitutional amendment package in complete consensus with all political parties, even those without parliamentary representation,” he said.
“I don’t want to make it a point of ego and as I had promised I will take every step to increase the dignity and honour of this house and state,” he added, amid desk thumping.
Majeed also proposed a committee, comprising Chaudhry Latif Akbar, Syed Azhar Hussain Gillani, Matloob Inqilabi, Chaudhry Mehboob (PP—PaK) Salim Butt (MQM), Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, Barrister Iftikhar Gillani (PML-N) and Malick Muhammad Nawaz (Muslim Conference) to give their suggestions for amendments in the interim constitution.
Following the committee’s report, party heads would sit together to fine-tune it, he said.
“In order to maintain (a good) atmosphere I offer complete cooperation. But there won’t be anything (amendment) against the Constitution of Pakistan and the UNCIP resolutions,” he said.
Appreciating the withdrawal, leader of the opposition and PML-N chief organizer Raja Farooq Haider maintained that though the constitution was not a divine book but, nevertheless, it did have sanctity and introducing unilateral amendments in it at the strength of majority did not reflect a democratic attitude.
“I am happy that sanity has prevailed in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad and I think the bill has turned out to be a blessing in disguise,” said the outspoken leader.
Haider recalled Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani announcement of October 8, 2009 regarding establishment of a committee for suitable amendments in the PaK constitution and expressed the hope that he would honour his commitment without further ado.
MC’s Malik Nawaz and MQM’s Tahir Khokhar also congratulated Mr Majeed for his announcement.
After the joint sitting unanimously approved withdrawal of bill, it was prorogued by the chair sine die.
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Feb 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Feb 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 8 Feb 2012 00:00:00 IST
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