PML-N lawmakers protest outside Presidency

ISLAMABAD, June 11: The legislators and workers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday staged a protest sit-in outside the Presidency after boycotting the budget debate in the National Assembly and Senate as part of their ongoing anti-government campaign.

Led by opposition leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and party chairman Senator Raja Zafarul Haq, the protesters came out of the Parliament House carrying placards and raising anti-government slogans and marched on Constitution Avenue towards the Presidency where they staged a sit-in for almost an hour.

The call for the sit-in had been given by Nisar Ali Khan on Friday.

At two to three places, police formed human chain and tried to prevent the nearly 300 protesters from advancing towards the Presidency but the PML-N workers and legislators pushed them back and managed to make their way to the entrance of the Presidency, only a few yards away from the Parliament House. PML-N MNAs Khawaja Asif and Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry also had a scuffle with some policemen when they physically tried to stop them from crossing a barricade.

Some party workers, including women activists, also clambered the fence of the Presidency and chanted slogans demanding resignation of the president and the prime minister. The office-bearers and members of the party’s youth wing, the Muslim Students Federation and few members of the Punjab Assembly were also present.

Speaking on the occasion, Ch Nisar warned the rulers to be ready to face the people’s wrath if they did not quit the government immediately. He regretted that the rulers were neither ready to implement the courts’ verdicts nor willing to accept the parliament’s decisions leaving no option for the opposition but to come out in the streets.

He said they had decided to hold street protests as they believed that the present assembly could no more resolve people’s problems.

The PML-N, which had been staging noisy protests in the National Assembly since the April 26 conviction of the prime minister by the apex court on contempt charges, had hooted down the budget speech of the finance minister on June 1. Later, the PML-N leaders surprisingly announced that they would participate in the budget debate, saying they did not want to leave the field open for the government.

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