'Constitutional crisis' haunting PTI govt.


Byline: Imran Mukhtar

ISLAMABAD -- A constitutional crisis for the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is in the offing as the Senate is far behind the required minimum number of days mandatory to meet in a parliamentary year under the Constitution.

The Senate has so far met for 56 days in the on-going parliamentary year and it has to meet for another 54 days to fulfil the constitutional requirement of minimum days, a senior official of the Senate Secretariat told The Nation yesterday.

The on-going parliamentary year of the Senate would end on March 12, 2020 making it impossible for the PTI government to fulfil the constitutional requirement.

The Upper House of the Parliament has to meet for at least 110 days in each parliamentary year under Article 61 of the Constitution. The Constitution says that the Senate 'shall meet for not less than one hundred and ten working days in each year.

Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq told The Nation that it was a complete constitutional violation if the house did not meet for the minimum days as required under the Constitution. 'It is now apparent that the house would not meet this obligation,' he said.

Talking about the move of the government for not summoning the session for the last 115 days, the leader of opposition said that the PTI government was fearful that the opposition being majority in the Senate would disapprove all presidential ordinances it has promulgated during the last couple of months.

Under the Constitution, any house of the parliament can reject or disapprove any ordinance through a resolution by a majority of vote. The opposition parties in the Senate allege that Prime Minister Imran Khan's government was running the country by making legislation through ordinances and has 'virtually paralysed the parliament.'

'The government has crossed all limits by not summoning...

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