*ISLAMABAD:* The speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq has said that to highlight positive image of Pakistan in the World, 88 parliamentary friendship groups had been formulated in the National Assembly with sister parliaments around the world.
Addressing a reception hosted in his honour here, the speaker said 136 laws were passed and out of them 49 laws were very significant such as Compulsory Teaching of the Holy Quran Act, Election Act, Right to Access to Information Act, The Public Interest Disclosure Act, The Witness Protection and Security and Benefit Act and Hindu Marriage Act.
The speaker said the current assembly also passed four constitutional acts, two of them were regarding counter-terrorism efforts and two for improving the electoral system. He said for the first time in the history of National Assembly, seven bills were passed in the joint sitting, out of which four were private member bills. He also highlighted that 16 private member bills became laws during the tenure of the incumbent assembly.
The speaker said all the issues of national importance came under discussion in the House and opposition was provided full opportunity to present its point of view on these issues. He said the current National Assembly had also distinction to pass six budget during its tenure. He said parliamentary committee on national security and parliamentary committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor had been constituted. He said performance of the standing committees remained tremendous. He said out of 34 standing committees, 10 were headed by the opposition.
To enhance the working and performance of the National Assembly , various initiatives including formation of strategic plan for establishment of legislative council, introduction of parliamentary studies programme in top universities of the country, conducting in-house on-job training of secretariat staff had been taken during the tenure of the present assembly, he said. He said the parliament was the first of its kind in the world to have its fully functional sustainable development goals secretariat. He said it was also a matter of honour that the parliament was first in the world to go green by shifting completely on the solar energy. He said the first-ever energy audit of the Parliament House was conducted during this tenure which enabled the government to explore alternative sources of energy.
The speaker said he raised the issue of Kashmir on every international forum and succeeded to get three unanimous resolutions on Kashmir passed from the parliamentary union of Islamic countries. He said both houses of the parliament had passed more than half a dozen resolutions to strongly denounce the reprehensible acts of unprecedented state terrorism and violation of human rights by Indian forces in the occupied valley.