ISLAMABAD: Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah on Wednesday said that lack of confidence was increasing between the Federation and the provinces while the country was facing both internal and external challenges.
The provinces of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had openly expressed their differences with the Centre on many issues, he said while speaking in the National Assembly on a point of order.
He said the Federal Government was not serious to remove lack of trust with the provinces as evident for not calling the meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI).
The CCI was the forum where the problems between the provinces and the Centre could be resolved and according to the 1973 Constitution, its sessions should be held twice in a year. But the federal government was not calling its session fearing that the provinces would raise the issues being faced by them. It was total deviation from the Constitution, he added.
The opposition leader said the federal government was not giving due respect to the Parliament. It was evident from the fact that neither Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif nor his cabinet members, except a few, attended the sessions, which was a matter of serious concern.
Khursheed Shah said the Parliament had helped the government on many occasions to come out of troubled situation. Since the government now considered it secure, therefore, it was ignoring it.
He said it was regretted that one-third members of the House belonged to the opposition, but their presence in the House outnumbered those present on the treasury bench. The Parliament, he said, was “mother of all institutions”. If it were strong then all other institutions would be strong. If this could not do its main function of legislation and guiding the government in devising national policies, then it would lose its importance.
He said the legislation process was too slow. The present government had almost completed three years of its tenure and got passed only 37 bills from the Parliament till date, while the last government had enacted some 61 bills during its first two and a half years.
The Parliament stood nowhere if every matter was to be decided by courts, he said, adding that the Memo scandal was hatched only to weaken the very institution.
He said the Parliament had lost people’s trust. But the government was not taking it serious. The contradiction in the statement of Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs at the floor of the House had made the country a laughing stock in the world.
He urged the Speaker to take notice of the “indifferent attitude” being meted to the parliament by the government.
Dr Arif Alvi of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf as per Constitution, the Council of Common Interests should meet after every 90 days and it should have a permanent office.