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Event Title: Senate Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges

Event Date: 2020-08-13

Senate Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges in its meeting on Thursday took strong notice of the breach of privilege of the House by the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination and asked the Secretary to withdraw the show cause notices issued to 26 doctors in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Poly Clinic and National Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, within 48 hours. It is pertinent to mention here that Chairman Senate gave a ruling on 20th July restricting the ministry from taking any action on the case of these doctors till the time the issue is taken up in the Standing Committee. However, on 22nd July the ministry issued show cause notices to these doctors who have been working in PIMS after they came from provinces on deputation and were absorbed in the federal government hospitals under the 5% quota. The privilege motion was moved by Senator Hidayatullah Khan and Senator Usman Khan Kakar.

The Committee members observed that the rulings of the chairman Senate or that of Speaker National Assembly serve as precedents and are followed as conventions in Parliamentary practices and flouting them is taken as an offence. It remarked that this is a clear case of violation and even defiance of the Parliamentary oversight which is a core responsibility of legislature and has to be respected. The Committee expressed respect for the unconditional apology expressed by the Secretary National Health Services and Regulations but also observed that the ruling has to be implemented in letter and spirit. The Committee refrained from discussing the merits of the case as it was beyond its ambit, however, the issue is on the agenda of the next meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination where the merits of the case will come under discussion.

The Committee also discussed the privilege motion moved by Senator Mushahidullah Khan regarding baseless allegation of dues of Rs. 270,000 against him on account of his stay in Punjab House, Islamabad. The Committee took strong exception to not adhering to its recommendations and not calling a meeting of the audit committee to look into the inquiry and asked to make sure that the meeting is called before the next committee of Rules of Procedure and Privileges.

The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq here at the Parliament House on Thursday and was attended among others by Senators Mian Raza Rabbani, Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, Dilawar Khan, Usman Khan Kakar, Hidayatullah, Pervaiz Rasheed and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan.