ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister’s Advisor on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan said Friday that the government was not withdrawing any legislation. Dispelling the impression of withdrawing legislation given after the Thursday’s meeting of the Opposition and the government, Dr Babar Awan clarified that the legislation done in the Parliament was valid, lawful and constitutional and would not be withdrawn. “All the bills have been passed as per law despite the efforts by the Opposition to derail the process. The bills have been referred to the Senate of Pakistan and the relevant committees”, he said while addressing a news conference along with State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib. The Advisor said that the Parliament of Pakistan has passed 12 bills in one day and 21 legislative instruments the other day pending with different committees since two to three years which he termed as historic. Three bills which have been passed are very important for the nation among which one is related to ensure safety and protection of women in response to the demand emerged after Motorway incident and the other is related to giving right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis, in compliance with the four different orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding electoral reforms and giving right of vote to overseas Pakistanis, he told. Bangladesh seeks UN intervention to end Rohingya crisis Criticizing the non parliamentary behavior of the Opposition, he said, “This is the first ever Opposition which has boycotted the office of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker and the parliamentary committees, closing the doors for dialogue.” The Opposition has trampled the sanctity of the prestigious institution of Parliament which is meant for legislating for the downtrodden segments of society empowering them, Dr Babar Awan said. The government has always shown seriousness over bringing of transparency in election through using Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) however the Opposition parties, who want status quo to persist, are not in favour of EVM, he said. He said those who have managed thousands of fake votes in their constituencies are feared of their failure in case of transparent election. “Election is the matter of nation in terms of determining their future not a political party or the government”, he added. Israel to send 1M vaccine doses to Palestinian Authority in swap deal Dr Babar Awan surprisingly said the Opposition parties objecting and boycotting the bills neither read these bills nor suggested any single amendment. He said the government will play its vibrant role in the committee to be formed for addressing the issues of violating ethics and parliamentary traditions in the Parliament and opposing legislation. “Whenever any deadlock appears, the government always steps forward and resolves issues”, the Advisor said and said since the government led by Imran Khan came into the power, the institutions were getting strength. Criticizing the Opposition leader’s stance that how the Overseas Pakistanis can understand the issues of Pakistan, Dr Babar Awan said, “If Nawaz Sharif sitting abroad can address the Pakistani nation and claim to understand the issues of Pakistan well then Overseas Pakistanis better also know the issues of the country.” Pakistan army to modernise Artillery corps: COAS The government has always acknowledged the valuable contribution of overseas Pakistanis in terms of remittances and they must be given right to vote in elections, he stressed. He asked the Opposition leader to focus on supremacy of the Parliament for legislation Dr Babar Awan said that the Opposition leader instead of pursuing futile efforts for removal of the elected Prime Minister from his seat and the government through dragging institutions in the politics, should respect the sanctity of the Parliament and play constructive role. He said that the present government was ready to have dialogue with the Opposition on all matters except NRO. Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib Friday said the government was taking all possible steps to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections in line with vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Farrukh described opposition’s attitude towards the electoral reforms as ‘non-cooperative and against the will of masses’. Sindh, Punjab facing shortage of vaccines Free, fair, and transparent elections were the essence of a strong democracy, he added. The minister said it was Prime Minister Imran Khan who had introduced culture of ‘neutral umpire’ for fair play in the international cricket. The electoral reforms initiated by him were to ensure free and fair elections in the country so that no one could raise an objection on their credibility, he added. There was a need to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in future elections to prevent chances of rigging, he added. The minister recalled that a judicial commission was constituted as a result of his party’s 126-day sit-in against the 2013 election results, which had expounded 40 recommendations that highlighted shortcomings in the election system, he added. Mentioning the Charter of Democracy, signed by the PPP and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), he said both the parties agreed to introduce open and traceable ballots in the Senate elections. Govt aims to preserve historic sites across country: PM Imran Despite being in the government for almost 10 years, both the parties had done nothing to ensure free and fair elections in the country, he added. He said the PTI government had got passed 110 laws from the National Assembly and still dozens of such laws were pending in the House due to the opposition’s non-serious attitude. Various bills, passed by the National Assembly in recent days, had been pending since 2020, he added. “The opposition parties do not want debate on the bills, and instead resort to walkouts as they have no interest in the legislation which is beneficial to the country and the nation,” he noted. Farrukh was of the view that the opposition had interest only in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) like concessions to get relief in their corruption cases. He said the opposition had denied sitting with Syed Fakhar Imam, the most gentleman in the Parliament, to discuss the issues of national importance. He said the NA Speaker had also approached the opposition to discuss electoral reforms and other issues, but they were adamant to pursue the politics of non-cooperation. The minister alleged that on the national security bill, the opposition had brought ‘personal security bill’ and introduced 34 amendments in the National Accountability Act laws. The amendments were meant to ensure ending of their leadership’s cases pertaining to corruption and fake accounts, he added. As regards the voting right to the expats, he said the overseas Pakistanis were an asset of the country and would definitely be involved in the election process. The overseas Pakistanis’ contribution to the national development could not be denied as they had sent about 27 billion dollars in the ongoing year, he added. He criticized PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal for speaking against the provision of voting right to the overseas Pakistanis, saying his point of view had hurt the sentiments of the Pakistanis living outside the country.