Ministers asked to respect Senate summons
KABUL (PAN): The parliamentary affairs minister said on Tuesday the Cabinet members summoned by the Meshrano Jirga (Senate) believed that only the lower house could take action against them if they did not turn up.
“Both houses should be treated equally. Since the ministers have been granted a vote of confidence by the lower house, they willingly appear before it, not here (upper house),” Humayun Azizi remarked.
Azizi was called by the Senate to explain why some ministers and high-ranking government officials avoided appearing before the upper house. The Senate says the ministers readily go to the lower house whenever they are called.
Mohammad Daud Hassas, a senator from southern Zabul province, deplored their repeated calls for ministers and government officials to appear had been ignored. He said the house had recently summoned Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi, but he did not turn up.
First Deputy Chairman Mohamad Alam Ezedyar recalled several government officials, including the Kandahar governor, IDLG director, the human rights commission chairman, had ignored Senate summons.
Ezedyar, who chaired the session, said the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs should evolve a comprehensive strategy to ensure that the summoned officials appeared before the house.
Azizi asked ministers and senior officials not to differentiate between the two houses and abide by their summons. He would discuss the issue with President Hamid Karzai and his colleagues at the next Cabinet meeting.
He also claimed to have made efforts at strengthening the relationship between the executive and the legislature. “However, it is not an easy task,” the minister acknowledged.
About defiant governors, he said, he had talked to IDLG Director General Abdul Khaliq Farahi, who had promised cooperation in this regard. He has sent two letters to Kandahar Governor Tooryali Weesa to appear before the house, but he had been abroad.
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