ISLAMABAD: Former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi wrote to the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser seeking production orders of the detained opposition members to attend proceedings in the House.
Letter read that Speaker decides the matters of production orders impartially as he is aware of the responsibilities of protecting the rights of others as the custodian of the House. “It is the fundamental and inherent responsibility of the speaker of the National Assembly, as the elected Custodian of the House, to ensure that members are able to attend the proceedings of the House unhindered and to ensure that any obstacles to their attendance are removed,” Abbasi said in the letter.
Letter further stated that the Speaker carefully examines the nature of the case filed against the detained member. “Granting of the production order is the speaker’s discretion, the member cannot demand it.”, he added.
The PML-N leader continued, “Democracy is the strength by deeds, not mere words. The actions of the speaker of the National Assembly, as the Custodian of the House, should speak for themselves. The National Assembly rules of Procedure provide discretion to the speaker to facilitate the attendance of proceedings of the House by detained members through the issuance of production orders; neither cab this discretion be used to deny members their privilege to attend proceedings of the House, nor can this discretion be used arbitrarily or selectively.”
“The intent of the framers of the Constitution and the traditions of Parliament should serve as the guiding principles in matters related to the rights and privileges of the chose representatives of the people,” he expressed in the letter.
According to the rules of the Assembly, the Speaker can, if deemed necessary, ask the detained member to attend the meeting.
Abbasi added, “I urge you to issue production orders for all detained members of the House, without discrimination; to attend all proceedings of the House as a matter of right and as their privilege.”
“I am also aware of the fact that your office is under pressure by the government not to issue production orders for the detained members,” Abbasi said. “In deference to the respect for your office, in case my attendance will be determined to your status as the custodian of the House, I am voluntarily willing to forgo my attendance in the House after the production orders are issued.”