Absent Interior Secretary, Islamabad IGP: Senate Committee Defers Meeting In Protest Without Any Discussion
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges on Wednesday registered its protest on the absence of the interior secretary and Islamabad IGP by deferring the meeting without any discussion on agenda.
Chairperson Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq observed that the meeting could not be conducted while the administrative heads of the departments concerned were absent without any intimation and had not even bothered to nominate the additional IGP and the additional secretary respectively to attend the meeting.
The meeting was planned on a single-point agenda regarding a privilege motion of Senator Behramand Tangi about an incident in which police had baton-charged him, as he went to observe the proceedings of the cases against PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
The chairperson remarked that all the members had come to attend the meeting after travelling from outside Islamabad, but the officials hadn’t considered it important enough to make it to the meeting or at least intimate the reasons of absence.
Members of the committee with different political affiliations had a collective opinion, beyond party lines, that no other meeting could have a priority over meetings of parliamentary committees and “this callous attitude signals the lack of respect towards institutions”, Ayesha added.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati seconded the committee members and assured the Committee of the presence of concerned Secretary and heads of departments in next meetings, saying that no excuses can be accepted. Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq added that this attitude is also damaging the government’s drive for austerity in the government sector as many resources have now been used for this meeting with no fruitful conclusion coming out due to absence of concerned officials.
The author is a reporter based in Islamabad.