Pakistan government to reach out to opposition, seeks better relations in parliament

In a bid to cool down the political rhetoric, at least in the functioning of parliament, the Pakistan government is reaching out to opposition on Monday, Dawn reported

Jan 25, 2021
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In a bid to cool down the political rhetoric, at least in the functioning of parliament, the Pakistan government is reaching out to opposition on Monday, Dawn reported. The government and the opposition are at odds since the united opposition under the banner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)  started taking out anti-government rallies and sought the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan-led PTI government. 

A three-member delegation of the ruling PTI, along with the speaker of the National Assembly, would hold talks with the opposition leaders on Monday in parliament house. 

Earlier on Saturday too, the government delegation had met the opposition leaders to seek cooperation in parliament. However, the meeting remained inconclusive, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the vice-president of PML (N), was quoted as saying by Dawn. But he added the two had agreed to meet again on Monday.

The meeting is being held at the chamber of the President in parliament. The senior opposition leaders desisted from attending the meetings of the House Business Advisory Committee. Former Prime Minister and PTI Leader Shahid Abbas Khaqani said there was no use in participating in the meetings as the decisions taken there never materialize when it comes to the speaker running the House. He alleged the speaker showed partisan attitude in running the legislative business.

Abbasi said the speaker was not independent as he was taking the instructions from the PTI 'high command'. The ruling party leaders, however, requested the opposition to meet the speaker for further discussion.  

Significantly, during the last joint session of parliament in September, the opposition boycotted all the meetings of committees headed by the house speaker Asad Qaisar, alleging his biased conduct to run the house.

At the time, the opposition also came hard on the speaker for forcibly passing the FATF, and NAB bills in the joint session. Bilawal Bhutto, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party, called his actions a deliberate attempt to undermine the constitution and parliamentary process. Speaker had failed to count the votes on bills despite repeated calls from the opposition.

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