Aaj English TV

Wednesday, May 22, 2024  
13 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

NA speaker wants ‘contempt of Parliament’ law in Pakistan

Raja Pervez Ashraf says Pakistan won’t have stability until this is in place
Exclusive interview of Raja Pervez Ashraf | Faisla Aap Ka with Asma Shirazi

NA Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf has expressed his intention for a ‘contempt of Parliament’ law just like contempt in order to have the respect of the august house, which he described as “mother of all institutions”.

“I want dialogue and Parliament, whether the incumbent or the next, also pass the ‘contempt of Parliament’ law. If there is contempt of court in place then why not ‘contempt of Parliament’? Until this is in place, I say it clearly that [we] cannot bring stability in Pakistan,” he said at Asma Shirazi show Faisla Aap Ka on Thursday.

He was responding to a question about whether or not Parliament would survive in this standoff between the august house and the Supreme Court. Pakistan’s political crisis turned into a judicial crisis when the National Assembly passed legislation aimed at clipping the powers of the chief justice.

The trouble apparently started brewing after the top court took the suo motu over the election delay in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The three-member bench fixed May 14 as the date for polls in Punjab.

Ashraf, who was elected as the NA speaker in April last year, was in the hot seat on the Aaj News show to respond to the questions related to the situation involving the role of Parliament.

He was sure that the highest legislature would survive as without its supremacy and respect no other institution can stand. “Supreme Court is also ours and is Parliament not of Supreme Court. If there is no Parliament from where you will get law,” he said and praised the CJP’s statement that the legislature should also form “good laws”.

The NA speaker went on to speak about the special national constitutional convention organised on April 10 to mark the golden jubilee of the Constitution of Pakistan.

When Shirazi mentioned that senior puisne judge Justice Qazi Faez Isa was criticised for his participation, Ashraf wondered what the reason was for that and added that it was not an assembly session. The whole world goes to the convention, he added.

“If we can get together for weddings and other events then why not for the Constitution of Pakistan,” the NA speaker said. He was of the view that there should not be a wall of hatred among institutions, adding that institutions should ensure other state bodies respect if they want it.

He went on to add that no one would have any problem if institutions work in their domain.

Ashraf used the term “just for nothing” while speaking about the lawmakers as they were “always being held accountable and criticised”. But MPs get punished whenever they speak about the Supreme Court, the NA speaker said and agreed with the host that he seeks dialogue.

‘Judicial martial law plus’

When asked about the future of the Supreme Court Practice and Procedure Bill, he spoke in detail about the process of legislation before becoming a power for which the assent of the president is a must and Parliament if the president returns it or keeps it.

For a second time on Wednesday, President Arif Alvi refused to give his assent to a bill seeking to curtail the CJP’s powers and sent it back to Parliament. He maintained that the matter was now sub judice. But it would become law after a certain time as per law.

Ashar described it as a “right way”, however, he lamented that if the apex court anytime takes a suo motu and stops the law would be an attempt to take away the right of Parliament.

Shirazi asked if would it be judicial martial law and the NA speaker stated that it should be said “judicial martial law plus”.

“If a law contradicts the constitution or Islamic laws, you can strike it down. That’s fine. But if a law is taking is coming into effect which will be applicable to you and which does not curtail your powers but an effort is made to end the controversy,” he added.

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Supreme Court

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Raja Pervez Ashraf

Punjab Elections