Asad Qaiser Breaching Legal Duty By Failing To Issue Production Orders For MNAs Ali Wazir, Mohsin Dawar
Amid demands for issuance of production orders for detained Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM)-linked MNAs Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser seems to be clueless about the legal procedure in this regard. In an interview with Hamid Mir on Thursday, he said that he was unable to issue the production orders because his office has received no written request for the same.
“If such requests are made, I will consider them in accordance with law. All MNAs are equal for me”, he added.
But according to the National Assembly rules, the Speaker does not need a written request before issuing production orders for an arrested member of the assembly.
Talking to Naya Daur, legal analyst Asad Jamal said that Rule 108 of Procedure of the National Assembly states that mere knowledge of the arrest of a member of the assembly is enough for the Speaker to summon the arrested MNA.
“Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir’s arrest has been all over the news. It is not possible the Speaker is unaware of the issue. Asad Qaiser is custodian of the House but he is shying away from exercising his legal responsibility”, he said.
Speaker Asad Qaiser’s claim that he was not requested to issue the orders is not true either. On May 30, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari wrote a letter to the Speaker, requesting him to issue production orders for MNAs Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar.
The PPP chairman said that the MNAs’ arrest under terrorism charges will have ‘grave and far-reaching’ implications. He also reminded the Speaker that MNA Ali Wazir lost nearly a dozen family members to war against terrorism. “It is highly worrying to charge him [Ali Wazir] and Mohsin Dawar with terrorism,” the letter read.
Bilawal told media that the Speaker has received the letter, but there has been no response.
PM’s Statement Tantamount To Coercion
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan reportedly directed the Speaker not to issue production orders for any arrested MNA while chairing a parliamentary committee meeting. While production orders for PPP leader Asif Zardari and Pakistan Muslim League – N (PMLN) MNA Khawaja Saad Rafique were issued a day later, Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir’s case remains unresolved.
“Issuance of production orders is not for the PM to decide. Imran Khan’s statement asking the Speaker not to issue the orders is tantamount to coercion,” Jamal said.
Standing Committee Chair Can Also Issue Production Orders For Arrested Members
Jamal further told Naya Daur that the chairperson of a standing committee of the Parliament can also issue such orders if a member of their committee is arrested.
Mohsin Dawar is the member of National Assembly’s standing committees on Narcotics Control and Cabinet Secretariat. Naya Daur asked Chairman of the NA Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat MNA Ameen ul Haque if he would take notice of the issue and summon the detained member of his committee, but he declined to comment citing ‘sensitivity’ of the matter.
The author is News Editor at Naya Daur. She writes on counter-terrorism, human rights and freedom of speech among other issues. She tweets at @AiliaZehra and can be reached at [email protected]