After a break of almost two months amid Covid-19 outbreak, The National Assembly physical session is going to start form today (Monday) with an agenda of how to deal with the current situation that is being observed in the country due to spread of Corona Virus. After a long debate the government and the opposition had finally reached a common understanding that the sittings would move around the single point agenda “Covid-19” and nothing else.
The session will be held under strict SOPs and health guidelines to ensure safety and security of the members and staff of National Assembly. Although journalist will be allowed to cover the proceedings while sitting in press gallery and press lounge yet the visitors’ galleries will remain closed and no visitor will be permitted to attend the session.
“Asad Qaiser is hospitalized for better medical treatment and recovery”, sources claimed
This is important to know that Asad Qaiser has been admitted to a private hospital due to his serious health issues. He had been tested positive for Covid-19 on 28th April, 2020 and had self-quarantined himself and his family however sources claimed that he was not feeling well with his lungs and therefore was moved to the hospital for treatment. Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani has also called the Senate session on Tuesday (tomorrow) on the requisition of the opposition parties.
“There is no need for a physical session in current devastating situation regarding Covid-19”, says Fawad
Fawad Chudhry announced that he would not attend the today’s NA session as some MNAs and staff members tested positive for Covid-19 and therefore it was not safe to attend any physical session. He further added that he had been raising his voice from day 1 to conduct the sessions through video link and this was the need of the day. Along with Fawad, some other lawmakers also announced to keep themselves away from any physical gatherings due to sudden and noticeable increase in the cases of Corona Virus across the country. The legislators had already been divided into two extremes of conducting and not conducting the physical sessions of parliament and the leadership of the parties had left the decision of attending or not attending the sessions at the will of their lawmakers without any binding on them.
On Sunday, the Deputy Chariman Senate Saleem Mandviwala (PPP) suggested to defer the session due to positive cases that had been reported among the legislators and staff members. Interestingly, his own party (PPP) had submitted a requisition notice to conduct the physical sessions of the parliament earlier. He had also urged to postpone the National Assembly session pleading that the fatal Corona had reached the corridors of the Parliament House premises. Mandviwala also warned about the dangerous consequences, had the things not been taken seriously.
Sherry Rehman (PPP) on the other hand shared that although they were also concerned about the situation yet there was no other option than to keep the house of parliament active and functional as it would be quite helpful in strategy formulation for the coming budget session that is expected in the first week of June, 2020.
Although the NA Secretariat on Sunday released a four point agenda including Question Hour and two call attention notice however as per Govt-opposition agreement, the session would be focused around one-point agenda while suspending the other three and the legislators would be bound to participate in the Covid-19 discussion only.