ISLAMABAD ( MEDIA )
Though a resolution calling for restoration of YouTube in the country was passed with unanimous vote in the National Assembly on Tuesday, some lawmakers believe this will not achieve anything on the ground.
“A resolution is not binding on the government,” said former law minister Senator S M Zafar while talking to The Express Tribune.
Zafar added that resolutions do not have legal or constitutional value but they are important in the parliament since they are passed by elected representatives.
“Our track record is that resolutions are passed and then are thrown to dustbin.”
MNA Shazia Marri from the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had moved a resolution saying “This House is of the opinion that the Government should take steps to lift [the] ban on YouTube.”
As the subject was related to every member, there was no vote against it and was passed unanimously.
YouTube had been blocked on September 17, 2012 after a sacrilegious clip grew in prominence. The clip drew sharp reaction from much of the Muslim world. Pakistan along with Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sudan had blocked the site. While threats of blocking it forced YouTube to censor the video in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. It took a court order in Brazil to block the video.
Earlier, a Senate committee on Human Rights had also approved a similar resolution seeking removal of ban from the videos sharing website.
The record of the National Assembly resolution for lifting ban on YouTube was 47th. The first resolution was passed on 16 June 2013 that condemned terrorist attack that targeting of Quaid e Azam’s Residency in Ziarat.
How is a resolution introduced in the House
The Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007 define the entire process for introducing resolutions into the house.
“A resolution should be in the form of a declaration of opinion or a recommendation, or convey a message, or command, urge or request action, or call attention to a matter or situation for consideration by the government, or in such other form as the Speaker may consider appropriate.”
There are guidelines about the content of a resolution too. “It shall not (a) contain arguments, inferences, ironical expressions or defamatory statements (b) refer to the conduct or character of a person except in his official and public capacity (c) raise discussion which is detrimental to public interest (d) contain reflection on a judge of the supreme court or a high court or any subordinate court or (e) relate to any matter which is pending before the court.”
A private member, who submits resolution in his personal capacity, has to give seven days’ notice and the resolution. After going through the scanners and set procedures, is presented before the house for approval.
Rule 169 reads as “(1) ON the conclusion of the discussion, the speaker shall put the resolution or, as the case may be, the resolution amended, to the vote of the House and if Passed by the House, a copy thereof shall be forwarded to the Division concerned. (2) The Division concerned shall apprise the Assembly the action taken on the resolution within a period of six months from the date of communication by the Assembly Secretariat.”