Adding insult to opposition’s injury, Prime Minister leaves for Turkey today

WEB DESK: The opposition parties continued their protest for the fifth consecutive day on Friday and staged a walkouts from the National Assembly and Senate over Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s absence from the Parliament, however, the PM is all set to embark today (Saturday) on a one-day private visit to Turkey.

The Prime Minister was expected to attend the National Assembly’s session on Friday to face a number of questions tabled by the opposition members on the issue of the Panama Papers; but the decision to visit Lower House of the Parliament was suddenly postponed to Monday.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) member of the National Assembly Naveed Qamar said on the floor of the house that opposition lawmakers won’t sit in the house until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif responds to their questions.

At this moment, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNA Amjad Ali Khan pointed out the lack of quorum. The Speaker adjourned the House due to a lack of quorum. The proceedings of the House remained suspended for 45 minutes due to an incomplete quorum.

On the other hand, a joint meeting of the opposition parties chaired by Senator Aitzaz Ahsan was held at Parliament House. Members of PPP, PTI, PML-Q, AML and other opposition parties participated in the meeting.

The meeting decided to continue its boycott of the National Assembly and Senate proceedings until Prime Minister arrives in the House.

After the meeting, Leader of Opposition in the Senate Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan told media persons that the opposition parties will decide a new strategy over the ‘Panama Papers’ to expose corruption of the ruling elite during a meeting on Monday.

He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was not aware of Parliament’s stature as he (prime minister) and his government were in a state of fear. He said not even the Ministers were willing to defend their prime minister.

Aitzaz pointed out that the then prime ministers, Yousaf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, regularly attended the Parliament sessions during PPP’s rule.

Leader of opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah also stated that the Chief Justice of Supreme Court supported the stance of opposition while rejecting the Terms of References (ToRs) of the government for a judicial commission.

He said the Prime Minister should have consulted with the opposition before preparing ToRs. He said that a legislation should be made for ToRs after consultations with the opposition. He said the government should not ignore the opposition for a legislation and ToRs for a judicial commission. – Business Recorder