Pakistan Opp attacks Speaker

Islamabad, Mar 22: Pakistan’s opposition leaders Shehbaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari have accused the National Assembly speaker for violating the constitutional provision requiring him to convene a meeting of the Lower House within 14 days after receiving a requisition for a session to table a no-trust motion against the prime minister, Dawn reported on Tuesday.
Talking to reporters outside the Supreme Court, the NA opposition leader claimed that Speaker Asad Qaiser had deliberately violated Article 54(3) of the Constitution using the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting as an excuse.
He insisted that the Speaker could have called the session earlier without waiting for the constitutional deadline to lapse, adding that the Speaker had tried to trap the opposition by prodding it to take a stance against the OIC conference.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto also accused the government of deliberately violating the Constitution in an effort to evade the no-confidence motion. He insisted that Speaker Asad Qaiser follow the Constitution and consult his lawyers before taking any action that might entail his trial under Article 6 of the Constitution (for high treason).
PML-N Senator Azam Nazir Tarar, also said the attorney general had assured during the proceedings that no MNA would be stopped from going to the Parliament House or barred from voting on the no-trust motion. He said the court had observed that Article 95 and Rule 37 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of the Business in the National Assembly were very clear, and advised the speaker not to deviate from them.
However, adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan defended the speaker’s decision to summon the session on March 25, saying it was in line with the Constitution. He referred to Article 254 of the Constitution according to which when anything is required to be done within a particular period but is not, the carrying out of that act or thing does not become invalid or ineffective just because it was not done within the prescribed period. (UNI)