National Assembly's inaugural session summoned on Thursday

National Assembly's inaugural session summoned on Thursday
Source: File Photo

Islamabad (Web Desk): The first sitting of the National Assembly (NA) will be held at the Parliament House in Islamabad at 10am on Thursday.

According to a notification issued by the NA Secretariat, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs requested the Prime Minister for the approval of making arrangements to convene the maiden session of the newly elected Lower House.

The Prime Minister, after obtaining the legal opinion from the Ministry of Law and Justice, gave his approval under clause (2) of Article 91 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention that President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday returned a caretaker government’s summary for convening the inaugural session of the NA, prompting Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to call the maiden sitting of the lower house of parliament on February 29.

Alvi, whose presidency is coming to a conclusion within a few weeks, emphasised that he would only approve the summary if the issue of reserved seats for women and minorities was resolved and distributed among the parties, as per law.

His delay tactics drew criticism from political parties, including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), urging him not to misuse his powers as the head of state.

Observers speculate that the president aims to postpone the session until the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issues a notification regarding the reserved seats of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), a group that most PTI-aligned lawmakers have recently joined.

On Tuesday, Caretaker PM Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar once again advised the president to convene the session, while granting authority to the NA secretariat to call the session after the constitutional deadline.

In the summary, the premier emphasised that calling a sitting within 21 days of the elections was a constitutional obligation.