LAHORE: The opposition rejects the committee formed by the government to investigate the events of Oct 16 and wants proceedings against Speaker Pervaiz Elahi for issuing fake pictures of violence to the media, and his failure to hold inquiry and punishing people unilaterally.
Hamza Shahbaz, leader of the opposition in the Punjab Assembly, told reporters outside the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday. He said the committee nominated by the treasury included two opposition members and 10 treasury.
“What kind of ratio is this?” he asked, adding the opposition held as much representation as the treasury and it was more of a joke to form such a committee and that too without the consent of the opposition benches.
“In fact, it is personal venom of the chair, which is at display,” he continued.
“Had he acted as a speaker, he would have held an impartial inquiry before issuing any orders. He could have struggled to get the opposition back in the house. We’re responsible members of the house; we come here daily to participate in the budget debate but it is for the personal hatred of the chair, which has blocked everything. It is for the first time in the history of this house that the budget debate has concluded without the participation of the opposition. What else is needed to prove speaker’s partisanship?”
When asked whether the opposition plans to move a no-confidence move against the speaker, he said that the opposition was not in a hurry. “It wants the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) expose itself. It is a bunch of nincompoops, which has gathered to run the country. The immaturity is now evident in everything: before going to Saudi Arabia, the prime minister met a foreign journalist and narrated economic vulnerability and desperation of Pakistan, ignoring national dignity and honour. Later, the prime minister denied the interview when pressure mounted, but only to be contradicted by the journalist, who called it a formal interview, and not a casual meeting as claimed by the prime minister. The latest example of such child-like interview came from the Malaysian invitation. The Prime Minister’s House claimed that the call came from the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad, whereas the later said it was Imran Khan who had called. All these episodes reflect the immaturity on the part of PTI and Imran Khan,” he said.
Earlier, the opposition held a house-like session on the lawns of the house, which was presided over by former speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal. Hamza also participated in the proceedings. Members pledged to resist any attempt to reduce share in the National Finance Commission and pledged support to the protesting workers of the Utility Stores Corporations and the poor being thrown out of slums in the name of encroachments..
Six of their colleagues, suspended from the House on October 16, kept occupying the gates of the assembly.
Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2018
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