Balakot: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing a gathering here on Sunday.—Dawn
Balakot: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi addressing a gathering here on Sunday.—Dawn

MANSEHRA: Former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senior leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has claimed that under pressure from Prime Minister Imran Khan, the National Assembly speaker is not issuing production order for his party’s MNA Saad Rafique, saying that this attitude of the government is undermining the sanctity of parliament.

“The production order is the basic right of any lawmaker to attend National Assembly sessions, but this first-ever monotonous government in the country’s history is not issuing production order for Saad Rafique, which is unfortunate for the sanctity of parliament,” Mr Abbasi said while addressing a gathering in Balakot and earlier talking to journalists here on Sunday.

He alleged that Mr Khan had been pressurising NA Speaker Asad Qaiser not to issue the production order for former federal minister railway Saad Rafique which, according him, never suits to people assuming such a high-profile office.

He strongly denounced Indian aggression and brutalities being committed by its forces in held Kashmir, saying that the United Nations should punish India for its genocide of Kashmiris.

Khaqan Abbasi denounces Indian brutalities in held Kashmir

“We would continue to support Kashmiris diplomatically and morally in their peaceful struggle for the right to self-determination and the UN should address the Kashmir issue in accordance with its resolutions,” Mr Abbasi said.

PML-N provincial president Amir Muqam and former federal ministers Sardar Mohammad Yousuf and Syed Qasim Shah also addressed the gathering and sought votes for their party’s candidate Mazhar Ali Qasim in the by-election being held in the area on Tuesday (Feb 26).

The former premier said that Kashmiris were fighting a war against Indian forces which had crossed all limits in brutalities and killings.

“World should understand the serious situation in India-held Kashmir and address this issue in accordance with the wishes of Kashmiris,” he added.

He lashed out at PM Khan and the federal government, saying that practically the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government failed to come up to public expectations.

Mr Abbasi said that the government had been selling natural gas at a price higher than its purchase rate, then how it claimed to have brought a change in the life of common people.

He said that the previous PML-N government didn’t increase gas prices during its entire tenure, adding that the recent abrupt increase in utility bills had put people into a big trouble.

“I am here to inform you that the Imran Khan government is playing with the future of the country as it blocked funds of all schemes launched by our government. You should take revenge of this through the power of your vote and elect our candidate in this by-election,” said Mr Abbasi.

He said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had put the country on the path of prosperity, adding that the Mansehra-Naran-Jalkhad road and Hazara motorway were gifts for the people of Hazara from him.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Muqam said that PM Khan did nothing for the country and those who voted him to power were now speaking against him. “I hope you would re-elect our party candidate as you did in last year’s general elections.”

He said that the PTI government, which claimed to have taken action against corruption, was itself involved in malpractices and corruption. “Your vote would prove innocence of our leader, Nawaz Sharif, as you would never exercise your vote in favour of Imran Khan who gave the country price hike,” he said.

Published in Dawn, February 25th, 2019