Senate Forum defines tenure for its chairman, decides to amend rules

January 13, 2015

ISLAMABAD, Jan 13 (INP): Senate Forum for Policy Research (SFPR), a think tank formed by the Upper House for assistance in research, in its first meeting has determined a time of one year tenure for the Chairman of the forum.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Nayyer Hussain Bokhari on Tuesday at Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS). Chairman Senate acts as the chairman of the forum until a new chairman is elected.

Former Senator Muhammad Anwar Bhinder said that an elected chairman enjoys a certain position but a chairman who has to preside only two meetings will not carry responsibility.

He along with Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Tariq Azem and Senator Raja Zafar-ul-Haq were of the view that at least one year tenure is required for the chairman to work efficiently. Former Senators Haroon Akhter Khan and Saleem Saifullah Khan said that they prefer a three year tenure but tenure of one year will also serve the purpose. Chairman Senate, after seeing the sense of the House announced that the tenure will be of one year so that the chairman can acquaint himself with the work, with other think tanks and can do justice to his position.

The members then demanded an amendment in the rules of the forum. Nayyer Bokhari proposed to the meeting that the amendment should be presented in the Upper House in the upcoming session so that it can be adopted.

The meeting discussed in detail the proposed structure and functioning of SFPR. The members were told that the membership of the forum will be reconstituted after renewal of the Senate membership.

The members were asked to give their proposals and recommendations for the way forward. Members were eager to research and submit recommendations on Electoral reforms, strengthening the local government system, energy shortage and mainstreaming FATA.

Senator Raja Zafar-ul-Haq said that a three member committee should work on proposals that can be worked upon in these two months. This was welcomed and approved by the meeting.

The orientation of new members to be elected in March was said to be a very important task. Secretary Senate, Amjed PervezĀ  told the meeting that a orientation session is held every time new leadership is elected, but it does not attract many Senators. The members asked for using SFPR as a tool for increasing knowledge about House rules and proceedings. Role of PIPS was emphasized in this regard and it was asked to assist the think tank in arranging briefing sessions by experts.

The members were united on developing linkages between academia and SFPR to make it effective ad use its potential. They wanted the forum to be an institution which gives solid support, concrete proposals and helps in effective legislation. They repeatedly appreciated the efforts of Secretary Senate who worked hard on realizing and putting into application the idea of in-house research assistance, conceived by Chairman Senate, Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari.

It may be noted that SFPR has 16 members which comprise 8 sitting and 8 former senators. Chairman Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari is the Patron of the forum and the members include Senator Raja Zafar-ul-Haq, Senator Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana, Senator Muhammad Mohsin Khan Laghari, Senator Syed Muzaffar Hussain Shah, Senator Farooq H. Naek, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, former senator Wasim Sajjad, Muhammad Anwar Bhinder, Tariq Azeem, Javed Jabbar, Akbar Khawaja, Sardar Latif Khosa, Haroon Akhter Khan and Saleem Saifullah Khan.

INP/AH/SB