Production orders politics | Dawn

This article was published in Dawn on March 04, 2019 and is available at the following link

OF late, the term ‘production order’ has gained much greater currency in our political discourse than before. As more members of the national parliament or a provincial assembly are picked up by the police on one charge or the other, the demand to produce them in the house is raised by their party colleagues as soon as the sitting of the legislature is convened.

It is generally the speaker of the national or provincial assembly or the chairman of the Senate who has the authority to summon a member who is in police custody to the sitting of the concerned legislature or of one of its committees.

Although the rules of the legislatures also authorise the chairpersons of the committees to call a detained committee member to the meetings, these cannot, in effect, be successfully applied without the consent of the speaker or the chairman because production orders are to be signed by the secretary of the legislature or another officer designated by the presiding officer.

At the heart of a production order is the right of the people, who elected the lawmaker, to be represented in the legislature through their elected representative.

At the heart of a production order is people’s right to be represented in parliament by their elected lawmaker.

It is a widely accepted democratic principle that until such time an elected representative is disqualified by a court of law, he or she cannot be denied the responsibility or the right to represent his or her constituents at all relevant fora — whether it is the legislature or any of its committees of which the lawmaker in question is a member. It is another matter and probably a side issue that such production opportunities do provide a very welcome respite to the detained legislator from the punishing confinement of a prison or detention centre.

While dealing with the cases of issuing production orders for legislators belonging to parties opposed to the party of the speaker, a serious dilemma sometime arises. Although the presiding officers are expected to act in a purely nonpartisan manner as custodians of their respective houses, the fact is that they are members of one political party or the other and the parties which nominated them to occupy that position expect them to serve their party interest, and this is where the speakers have to face the twin pressures of their position and their party.

Gohar Ayub, speaker of the National Assembly from 1990 to 1993, faced this pressure when he issued production order for a detained Asif Ali Zardari, husband of the then leader of the opposition, at the risk of displeasing his party the PML-N and its leader prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Similar was the difficult position of Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani who as speaker from 1993 to 1996 and at the risk of displeasing his party, the PPP, and its leader prime minister Benazir Bhutto, issued production orders for several MNAs including Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a PML-N MNA at the time and a bitter critic of the PPP and Benazir Bhutto.

Recently, the incumbent speaker of the National Assembly, Asad Qaiser, faced this twin pressure when he issued the production order for Shahbaz Sharif, the leader of the opposition arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) that is investigating some charges against him.

Shahbaz Sharif is not only an MNA from the arch rival PML-N, he is also the leader of the combined opposition in the National Assembly and has faced direct verbal assaults from Prime Minister Imran Khan. Despite tremendous pressure from some of his colleagues in the PTI, the speaker stood his ground and repeatedly issued production orders for Shahbaz Sharif for each session.

Former railways minister, Saad Rafique, was another beneficiary of the production orders issued by speaker Asad Qaiser. Unfortunately, Saad Rafique’s brother Salman Rafique, who is also in NAB custody, was not as lucky as his elder brother because he is a member of the Punjab Assembly which happened to be the only legislature of Pakistan where the rules did not provide for the provision of production orders by the speaker at that time.

Subsequently, the assembly amended its rules on Jan 15, 2019, and empowered its speaker to issue production orders for the arrested members. An unexpected beneficiary of this amendment in the rules turned out to be former senior Punjab minister Aleem Khan of the PTI who was also arrested by NAB and brought to the assembly for its sittings thanks to this amendment.

The Senate, the National Assembly and all the four provincial assemblies now have almost identical rules which empower their presiding officers to, either of their own accord or at the request of the arrested member or his party, summon the arrested member for a sitting of the legislature or of one of its committees.

The rules also empower the chairpersons of the standing committees to summon the members of the committees for their meetings. This, at least in theory, means that Shahbaz Sharif, as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, can summon a detained PAC member for a meeting without asking the speaker to do so.

The court has released Shahbaz Sharif on bail in the meantime otherwise it would have been interesting to see whether he, as chairman PAC, could summon himself to attend a meeting of the accounts committee. Had it been so, it would probably have created history, just as his arrest as leader of the opposition and subsequent production order was a unique instance in Pakistan’s parliamentary history.

Although the arrest of elected representatives is a sad occurrence, one can celebrate the fact that despite the limitations of democracy in Pakistan, parliamentary rules and traditions of detained legislators’ production in parliamentary sittings are taking root and proving strong enough to withstand partisan pressures. As long as these rules are proving effective, one may arguably choose to ignore the demand that issuing production orders should be made obligatory on presiding officers rather than leaving it to their discretion.

Follow ABM on Social Media


Latest Articles

Latest Tweets




Proficient and highly skilled in information technology with a broad background in project management, Digital marketing, Web Development, Graphic designing, Video Editing, IT security, Computer operations, Implementations, Network administration, End-user support, Troubleshooting, Hardware / Software. Improves processes to increase efficiencies. A dependable problem solver who seizes opportunities to improve upon existing operations to increase a business standing in the marketplace.

  • First Name: Syed M
  • Last Name: Bilal
  • Date of birth: 24 November 1990
  • Nationality: Pakistan
  • Phone: +923336874433
  • Address: Lahore, Pakistan
  • Email:
  • Languages: English-Urdu-Arabic

IT & Digital merketing Officer - PILDAT

2023 - Continue

IT & Digital merketing Officer - Sapphire

2022 - 2023

IT Manager - Hajvery University

2021 - 2022

  • Maintain and update different websites under the use of PILDAT.
  • Manage and use e-mail marketing platforms like GoDaddy and Mail Chimp.
  • Troubleshoot various end-user computer issues.
  • Proficient in graphic designing using tools like Canva.
  • Skilled in video editing with Final Cut.
  • Implement YouTube SEO, social media marketing (SMM), thumbnail creation, optimization, and keyword research.
  • Troubleshoot network-related issues, including LAN, WAN, switches, routers, internet, broadband, and servers.
  • Oversee all Digital marketing campaigns in the company.
  • Implement the strategy to generate leads.
  • Promote the business, product, or service.
  • Ensure the company is communicating the right messaging to attract prospective customers and retain existing ones to generate leads.
  • Planning digital marketing campaigns, including web, SEO/SEM/SMM/PPC, email, social media, and display advertising.
  • Maintaining a social media presence across all digital channels.
  • Measuring and reporting on the performance of all digital marketing campaigns.
  • Provide technical support all over the company operations.

Superior University

BS Computer Science (BSCS) - Superior University

2013 - 2017

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) - Corvit


Fundamentals of Digital Marketing - Google


  • C++ / C#


Years Experience


Done Projects


Happy Customers

This will close in 0 seconds







Lahore, Pakistan

Social Profiles
Feel free to drop me a line

If you have any suggestion, project or even you want to say Hello.. please fill out the form below and I will reply you shortly.

Contact Form Demo

This will close in 0 seconds




Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
Image 4


Image 01
Image 02
Image 3
Image 04


This will close in 0 seconds