By.Asghar Ali Mubarak
Islamabad: 16th May, 2018: The Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has said that the Press Gallery is an important organ of Parliament and played important role in highlighting the legislation enacted and issues discussed in the Parliament.
He expressed these views while addressing reception hosted by the President Mr. Qurban Baloch, Secretary General Mr. Behzad Saleemi, Vice Presidents Mr. Sohail Khan, Mr. Khalid Mehmood and Mr. Arshad Waheed Chaudhry Secretary Finance Mr. Hameed Langara, Secretary Information Mr. Intizar Haideri and Joint Secretaries Mr. Zeeshan Shamsi, Mr. Muhammad Jamshaid Khan and Malik Saeed Awan as well as Executive Members Hafiz Tahir Khalil, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Raza, Ms. Rozina Ali, Ms. Hira Waheed, , Shiekh Manzoor Ahmed, Mr Zahid Yaqoob Khawaja, Mr. Shakil Ahmed, Hafiz Abdul Majid, Khawaja Babar Farooq, Mr. Ali Shair, Mr. Attah Rajar, Ms. Razia Khan, Mr. Essa Naqvi, Mr. Abid Rahi, Rana Tariq, Mr. Anwar Raza, Mr. Fahad Chaudhry, Mr. Javed-ur-Rehman, Mr. Akram Abid Qureshi and Mr. Javed Noor of the Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA) in honour of the Speaker, today. Earlier President Mr. Quban Baloch, Secretary General Mr. Behzad Saleemi and other office bearers of PRA welcome the Speaker and hoped that Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA) would continued to guide the Parliament for formulating pre-people legislation. The Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq thanked the representatives of PRA for hosting the Reception in the honour of the members of the outgoing Assembly .He stated that the 14th National Assembly of Pakistan came into being after the General Election of 2013 and going to be completed its tenure on 31st May, 2018. He said that during the last five years of its tenure the National Assembly had passed highest number of Laws and accomplished landmark achievements. While highlighting the salient features of achievements of incumbent National Assembly, the Speaker said that 136 Laws were passed out of them 49 Laws which were very significant importance such as Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Act, Election Act, Right to Access to Information Act, The Public Interest Disclosure Act, The Witness Protection and Security & Benefit Act and Hindu Marriage Act. He said that the present Assembly also passed four Constitutional Acts two of them were regarding Counter Terrorism Efforts and two for improving the Electoral System of Pakistan. He said that first time in the history of National Assembly seven Bills were passed in the Joint Sitting out of which four were Private Member Bills. He also highlighted that 16 Private Members Bills became laws during the tenure of incumbent Assembly. The Speaker said that despite the political instability during Dharana in 2014 PTI MNAs and later on MQM members of the National Assembly were tendered their resignations but no member of National Assembly was deprived of his or her seats through resignations. He said that all the issues of National Importance were came under discussion in the House and Opposition was provided full opportunities to give its view point on these issues. He said that current National Assembly has also distinction to pass Six Budget during its tenure. The Speaker has said that Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Parliamentary Committee on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) have been constituted. Talking about the National Assembly Standing Committees, the Speaker said that performance of the Standing Committees remained tremendous and out of 34 Standing Committees the 10 were headed by the Opposition. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) headed by the Opposition Leader has strengthened. Apprising about the initiatives taken in the National Assembly during the last five years Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said that to enhancing the working and performance of the National Assembly various initiatives, including formation of Strategic Plan Establishment of Legislative Council, introduction of Parliamentary Studies Programme in top universities of the country, conducting in house on job training of Secretariat staff have been taken during the tenure of the present Assembly. He said that Pakistan Parliament was the first Parliament in the World to have its fully functional Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Secretariat. He said that it is also a matter of honour that Parliament of Pakistan is first ever in the world to Go Green by shifting completely on the Solar Energy. Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has said that first ever energy audit of Parliament House was conducted during this tenure which enable us to explore alternative sources of energy.Briefing about human reforms programme in the National Assembly, the Speaker said that after assuming the office of the Speaker a full-flagged Human Resource Department with complete job description has been established to defend job description, promotion, retirement and succession plans. He said that he has ensured criteria for promotion should be on seniority-cum-fitness basis and no undue favours were granted to anyone. He said that to ensure the transparency, merit and fairness in the recruitments in the National Assembly Secretariat he has given all his powers of appointment in the National Assembly Secretariat to Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC). The Speaker said that to highlight positive image of Pakistan in the World, 88 Parliamentary Friendship Groups have been formulated in the National Assembly with sisters parliaments around the World. He said that the record number of Parliamentary delegations headed by the Speakers and Chairpersons of the Parliament of the World visited Pakistan during the last five years. He said that the important milestone of our pursuits in “Parliamentary Diplomacy”, the National Assembly of Pakistan won a landmark achievement as Pakistan had been chosen as the venue of the 2015 Commonwealth Parliamentarians Conference (CPC) and its Speaker had been elected as the President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. He said that Pakistan’s principled stand on Kashmir,we pulled back from hosting Commonwealth Conference as “the Indian demand to invite the Speaker of the Occupied Jammu and Kashmir Assembly which could not be accepted. The Speaker said that he raised the Kashmir issue on every international forum and succeed to get three unanimous resolutions on Kashmir passed from the Parliamentary Union of Islamic countries (PUIC). He said that both Houses of the Parliament of Pakistan have passed more than half a dozen resolutions to strongly denounce the reprehensible acts of unprecedented state terrorism and violation of Human Rights by Indian forces in the occupied Valley. He said that he had written letters to the Speakers of 196 Parliaments to highlight the gross human rights abuse rampant in the Valley. He further said that Parliament of Pakistan also hosted Two Day International Parliamentary Seminar in January, 2017 to condemn brutal human rights violations and to probe imperative issue of right to self determination of people of Occupied Kashmir.Apprising about the International Conferences held under the auspices of the National Assembly during the last five years the Speaker said that five International Conferences including 1st Speaker’s Conference on Challenges of Terrorism and Regional Connectivity in December 2017 where China, Afghanistan, Turkey, Russian Federation and Iran participated, which was a great achievement for the prosperity and development of the region. The meeting of Drafting Committee of the Speakers’ Conference of six countries from 6th to 9th May, 2018, “SAARC Young Parliamentarians Conference (SYPC) on Peace and Harmony for Development” in Islamabad, Pakistan in August 2016 , National Parliamentary Meeting on Malnutrition of Mother & Child in February 2016 and International Conference on “Role of Women Parliamentarians in Strengthening Democracy and Social Justice” in which women parliamentarians from over 13 countries participated were hosted by the National Assembly during the last 5 years.The Speaker said that the Press Gallery is an important organ of any Parliament and played important role in highlighting the legislation enacted and issues discussed in the Parliament. He also thanked the representatives of PRA for hosting the Reception in the honour of the members of the outgoing Assembly.