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PML-N,MNAs protested in NA over Shehbaz Sharif

30 October, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) legislators staged a protest over National Accountability Bureau’s failure to produce Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on time, with entire opposition staging walkout from the House in protest.

The opposition ended boycott of the National Assembly after Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi convinced them to return to the assembly. After the boycott ended, Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhuto returned together.

Earlier, speaking on the floor of the assembly, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called upon the opposition to attend the session and present their stance. He said government had no objection to Shehbaz Sharif attending the session, adding that the government and opposition were two sides of a coin and that the opposition should express a responsible behaviour.

The PML-N president complained that the NAB officials didn’t want him to attend the session and that they had to take him to Islamabad on his insistence.

As per production orders issued by Speaker Asad Qaiser, the NAB Lahore team had been directed to produce Shehbaz Sharif for the session of the Lower House at 4pm on Monday. Due to his delayed arrival in the Parliament House, he could not chair a meeting of PML-N’s parliamentary party scheduled for an hour before the session’s start. In Shehbaz’s absence, senior leaders Ahsan Iqbal and Khawaja Asif jointly led the meeting.

Talking to reporters after reaching the parliament, Shehbaz said the NAB avoided bringing him to Islamabad via airplane on the pretext of different reasons. “They didn’t want to bring me to Islamabad in an airplane,” he claimed, adding that the bureau used the suspension of flight and unavailability of seats as excuses. “I was made to travel via motorway despite an ache in my back,” he said.

Speaking in the assembly, PML-N lawmaker Rana Tanveer Hussain said NAB had caused a ‘deliberate’ delay in producing the opposition leader, adding that the speaker’s production orders had not been complied with.Earlier, the speaker assigned Shah Mehmood Qureshi and State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan the task of convincing the opposition members to return to the House. The duo managed to cajole the opposition into returning to the session, with Qureshi thanking them for ending the boycott.

During the session, the speaker administered the oath of office to 10 out of the 12 members elected in by-polls earlier this month. Two prospective lawmakers were not present in the session.

The NA later unanimously passed a resolution condemning Indian state atrocities in Held Kashmir. “This House condemns Indian atrocities and aggression in Kashmir,” reads the resolution presented by Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur. “The international community should take notice of Indian aggression and violations of human rights,” it said, stressing that the Kashmir issue should be resolved in light of the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

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