ISLAMABAD: In the wake of continuing confrontation between opposition members and the government, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, head of the Balochistan-based and government-allied Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party, met with opposition senators on Thursday and requested them to end their boycott of Senate sessions over an Oct 30 controversial reply submitted by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Opposition senators, mainly belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), have been protesting against what they call ‘arrogance’ shown by Chaudhry Nisar after allegedly providing wrong data to the house on Oct 30 about deaths in terrorism-related incidents.
The National Assembly’s debate on the situation arising from last Friday’s killing of Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud was interrupted on November 6 when Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Ahmed Shah rose to point to a disquieting development happening in the Senate when “Pakistan is facing a crisis” and demanded that either Chaudhry Nisar withdraw his allegedly wrong reply to a senator’s question rather than make it an issue of ego or the prime minister intervene personally to settle the matter.
After the interior minister, who counter-charged the opposition of making it a matter of ego, refused to withdraw his reply, arguing that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had rechecked the figures of casualties from terrorist attacks from June onwards and found them correct, and there being no sign of a prime ministerial intervention, Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq had ended the discussion by referring the issue to senior house member, Achakzai, for what he called “out-of-court settlement”.
Achakzai met with Leader of Opposition in the Senate Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and prominent Senators Raza Rabbani and Kamil Ali Agha on Thursday. During the meeting, he urged the opposition senators to end their boycott of Senate sessions.
Separately, a meeting of all the coalition parties in the federal government was held in the Senate, led by Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq. The meeting was also attended by Chaudhry Nisar.
During the meeting, the members discussed what the opposition alleged “unparliamentary behaviour” of the interior minister which had prompted opposition members to boycott Senate sessions.
Meanwhile, speaking to media representatives outside the Parliament House today, Nisar said if the opposition wants to create a “scene” outside the Parliament, it could continue doing so.