Govt postpones tomorrow’s joint parliament session


ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Wednesday withdrew the order for a joint session of the parliament, scheduled for 11 am tomorrow (Thursday).

“In exercise of powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 54 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, I hereby withdraw the order issued to summon the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in joint sitting on Thursday, the 11th November, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. in the Parliament House, Islamabad. Consequently, the summoning/prorogation orders issued thereof stand rescinded,” read the new order.

The session had been called by the government in order to pass the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance (Amendment) Bill and electoral reforms bill among other legislation items.

The announcement was already made earlier in the day by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry.

Chaudhry, in a statement on Twitter, said National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser would hold talks with the Opposition over electoral reforms.

“Electoral reforms are the country’s future and we, with the best of intentions, are trying to develop a consensus on this. In this regard, [the speaker] has been tasked to hold talks with the Opposition so that a unanimously agreed upon electoral reform bill can be presented,” he said.

The information minister said the session has been postponed in the hope that the Opposition would consider the government’s proposal seriously and work towards making a unanimously agreed-upon plan of action.

“In case this does not happen, we will still not step back from electoral reforms,” he added.

The information minister made no mention of when the parliamentary session would instead be called.

Qaiser, in his own statement on Twitter, said that he met the prime minister and the two had a detailed conversation on the joint session. “On the prime minister’s directives, I will soon contact the Opposition parties so that their reservations can be addressed and a consensus can be reached on matters of national interest,” he said.