Lawmakers from the opposition Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) indulged in the blame-game on Thursday during a joint session of the Parliament which was summoned exclusively to discuss the Kashmir issue.
Members of the PPP were about to stage walkout from the House in protest of what they called controversial remarks by a PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan against the party’s top leadership.
However, it was prevented following immediate intervention of Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Jamat-e-Islami chief Senator Sirajul Haq and some federal ministers of the government to pacify Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah.
“One who is friend of Modi is a traitor,” the PPP members chanted vociferous slogans following the remarks of Mushahidullah about PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, a reference to a recent observation of Sindh High Court about embezzlement in development funds for Larkana.
The PPP members, however, reacted to these remarks strongly and threatened to walk out of the house in protest.
“A party has already boycotted the joint session and we can also leave the house,” Khursheed Shah said while alluding to the PTI’s boycott of the session.
Speaking on the floor of the house, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan criticised the government’s foreign policy, saying that it was a big failure for Pakistan when SAARC countries including Nepal, Bangladesh and Afghanistan refused to participate in it.
He demanded to know why Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not mention RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadav’s name in his speech at the UN General Assembly last month.
“I’m still waiting for the prime minister to bring up names of Indian spies in his addresses,” the senator said. Ahsan said the impression is developing that the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is only for Punjab and this could hurt the national unity on Kashmir issue.
Referring to Panama Papers, he said the Prime Minister should present himself for accountability and get him cleared of all the allegations.
He said the process of accountability could be started by passing the opposition’s bill regarding it in the Senate.
Responding to all these points, PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan criticised the PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for his Wednesday’s statement wherein he said that his party would sweep the 2018 elections and Nawaz Sharif will be in jail.
Khan said the PPP should first look into its own performance and then criticise the PML-N government.
He also said that during the government of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a list of Sikhs was handed over to India’s intelligence agency. “This is documented and Rajiv Gandhi had thanked Benazir Bhutto for this,” he said.
He said that the PML-N would win the 2018 elections and Nawaz Sharif would once again be prime minister. “We will see who will be prime minister and who will be in jail,” he said.
In response to Mushahidullah, Aitzaz Ahsan said he had served as the interior minister and no such lists existed.
He added that even if there was such a list, a civilian would not be spared if they had shared it with India.
Ahsan said the ruling party members had resorted to his character assassination by hurling allegations like getting LPG quota and handing over lists of the Khalistan Movement to India.
He demanded the government file a case against him if he had done anything wrong or illegal.
In an effort to defuse the tension, PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq apologised from the PPP members if sentiments were hurt.
This exchange of harsh words between the ruling party member and the PPP members overshadowed all the earlier discussions on the Kashmir issue. -Business Recorder