Govt-opposition tussle likely to intensify next week

Published October 27, 2018
Shahbaz Sharif's production orders issued by NA Speaker. — Photo/File
Shahbaz Sharif's production orders issued by NA Speaker. — Photo/File

ISLAMABAD: As the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led government and the opposition parties were flexing their muscles for the National Assembly session commencing on Monday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday warned the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that the government could split the main opposition party any time.

However, the government issued a production order for PML-N president and leader of the opposition Shahbaz Shairf, who is in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau, after Prime Minister Imran Khan met Speaker Asad Qaisar and apparently discussed the possible move of a no-confidence motion by the opposition against the two-month-old government.

The PML-N had recently submitted two adjournment motions to the NA Secretariat against government’s decisions about the media regulatory authority and abolition of subsidy on Metro bus services, while former president and PPP leader Asif Zardari, along with Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman, had announced that the opposition parties were going to hold a multiparty conference to devise a joint strategy against the government.

Govt can split PML-N any time, claims Fawad; production order of Shahbaz issued for NA session

About Friday’s meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Speaker Asad Qaiser, PM Office said in statement that matters pertaining to legislative business in the National Assembly came under discussion.

The information minister said the government had no fear of any move of the opposition because the latter lacked capability to create any trouble for the former.

“We can split the PML-N into many parts any time if we want to do so because neither the party has any ideology nor it has leadership,” Mr Chaudhry told Dawn on Friday. He said the PTI government was “giving space” to the opposition.

Otherwise, he added, the PML-N could be deprived of even the slot of leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.

The information minister said the government had decided to issue a production order of the jailed PML-N president and opposition leader for the fresh NA session.

Production order for lawmakers is issued by the NA speaker.

It is believed that the government-opposition tussle will intensify in the next week and the two sides are making strategies to foil each other’s strategies.

During the NA session, the opposition may give a tough time to the treasury by raising the two recent decisions of the government — the abolition of subsidy on Metro bus services and the proposed establishment of Media Regulatory Authority (MRA), an umbrella of all media regulatory bodies, which the PML-N claimed was aimed at controlling the media.

The second largest opposition party in parliament ­— PPP — is also ready to join hands with other parties against the government as its leader and former president Asif Ali Zardari told a press conference that the opposition would press the government to bring it back on track to democracy. He said the ruling party had failed to even understand the problems confronting the country.

Meanwhile, the JUI-F is planning to hold another multiparty conference with representation of all opposition parties in parliament to discuss the prevailing political situation and devise a joint strategy against the government.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2018

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