RESOLUTION PASSED IN SENATE
From Our Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: The Senate has passed a resolution against a person holding a party post after being disqualified from public office – a move aimed against deposed PM Nawaz Sharif’s re-election as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) chief. The resolution was presented by the leader of the opposition in House, Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan. It was argued in the resolution as to how could a person who had been disqualified by a court from holding a public office and was no longer eligible to be a lawmaker become the head of a political party and influence policymaking in the parliament from the outside. It was further contended that by electing a disqualified person as a party chief, the parliament had become “exposed to becoming hostage to a person who himself is barred from entering it”. The resolution was adopted with 52 people voting in favour of it and 28 opposing it. Law Minister Zahid Hamid said he saw no reason to adopt such a resolution and cast his suspicions over the intent behind its passage. Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, the leader of the House, also said there was no need to table the resolution as the Senate had already dealt with the issue. Last month, the Senate, despite the opposition parties’ combined strength outnumbering the treasury benches, had passed the Elections Bill 2017, paving way for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to once again take the helm of the PML-N. A controversial clause in the bill allows disqualified politicians to hold a public office or to lead a political party. Section 203 of the Electoral Reforms Bill 2017 allows every citizen, except for government servants, to form a political party or become its office-bearer. Nawaz was then elected the PML-N chief after President Mamnoon Hussain signed the bill into law.