Opposition parties to protest outside Parliament House on Thursday against Shahbaz's arrest

Updated 09 Oct 2018


Opposition leaders holding a press conference. —File photo
Opposition leaders holding a press conference. —File photo

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has announced that the parliamentarians of opposition parties will hold a protest outside the Parliament House on Thursday afternoon, following the government's failure to honour their request for calling a National Assembly session to debate the "unjustified arrest" of Leader of Opposition in NA Shahbaz Sharif by NAB authorities.

The PML-N central executive committee in an ‘emergency meeting’ on Monday had decided to launch a protest movement against what it termed political victimisation of opponents by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led coalition government.

The meeting decided that in the first phase of the protest movement, the party would launch agitation against ‘political victimisation’ of the Sharif family and opposition members in and outside the parliament.

Subsequently, On Tuesday, the call for the protest was given by former NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq, saying the gathering will be held on Thursday, October 11 at 3pm at Gate No. 1 of the Parliament House.

Earlier on October 5, the evening when Sharif was arrested, a requisition to call an NA session to deliberate the matter was submitted to the NA secretariat.

The next day, on October 6, a delegation of the opposition leaders comprising PML-N chairman and leader of the opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, former NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl leader Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and PML-N lawmaker Rana Tanvir met the incumbent NA speaker at his residence and urged him to summon the session soon as they wish to raise the issue of Shahbaz’s arrest.

According to the NA spokesperson, the Speaker is bound by the law to call a session within 14 days when a requisition is submitted and NA Speaker Asad Qaiser had assured the opposition a session would be called before then.

However, so far no date has been set for the NA session.

Earlier on Monday, ousted premier Nawaz Sharif had alleged that Shahbaz had been arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Moreover, barbs flew in the Senate with the opposition members accusing the government of witch-hunt in the name of accountability and the treasury members claiming that the slogan of ‘political victimisation’ was being used as a shield against a transparent process of accountability.