ISLAMABAD: Members of the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on Wednesday formally submitted an application to the National Assembly Secretariat, requesting Speaker Asad Qaiser to issue a production order for opposition leader and party president Shahbaz Sharif so that he could attend the upcoming session of the house beginning on Oct 29.
The application has been signed by former speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, ex-deputy speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Tahira Aurangzeb, Zehra Wadood Fatemi and PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb. It was handed over to acting NA secretary Qamar Sohail Lodhi.
Mr Sharif is presently in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore in the Ashiyana housing scam case. He was arrested by the NAB authorities on Oct 5 and since then he has been in detention on physical remand.
Soon after his arrest, the PML-N had submitted a requisition notice to the speaker who later called the session on Oct 17 after issuing the production order for Mr Sharif.
No word from ruling PTI or speaker’s office after receiving the application from opposition members
The PML-N president had been specially brought to the Parliament House by the NAB authorities for the one-day session in which Mr Sharif revealed the questions being asked to him by the investigators, alleging that there was an unholy alliance between NAB and the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf.
Last week, while talking to reporters, Prime Minister Imran Khan also criticised Mr Sharif for his speech in the NA and alleged that the opposition leader had used the parliamentary floor for a media trial of NAB.
Sources in the PTI told Dawn that there was a group within the party which was in favour of issuing the production order for Mr Sharif. During the requisitioned session, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had stated that there were some legal questions over the issuance of the production order by the speaker as Mr Sharif was not in jail, but was under remand.
He claimed that perhaps for the first time it was happening that the speaker had issued a production order for a person under remand.
There was no official word from the ruling PTI or the speaker’s office after receiving the application from the PML-N members.
On the other hand, a PML-N leader said the party would definitely lodge a strong protest if the speaker did not issue the production order.
While the PML-N had recently submitted two adjournment motions in the NA Secretariat against the government’s recent decisions about media regulatory authority and abolition of subsidy on Metro bus services, the opposition parties are expected to lodge a protest over the government’s move to increase power tariff.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had already announced that his party was planning another multiparty conference (MPC) of the opposition parties in an effort to devise a joint strategy against the PTI government.
In reaction to the opposition parties’ plan to join hands against the government, the information minister had sarcastically remarked on his Twitter account that the venue for the MPC should be Adiala jail.
The information minister also ridiculed the statement of former president Asif Ali Zardari that the opposition parties must unite and move a “resolution” that the present government was incapable of running the country. The minister was of the view that the governments could not be toppled through resolutions and for this purpose, votes were required.
Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2018
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