Lawmakers from the PML-N and other opposition parties will resign from the parliamentary committee formed to probe rigging in the 2018 general elections, Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif announced on Saturday.
"The rigging committee has not convened for four months," he complained as he announced the decision. "We have [therefore] decided to resign from it."
The announcement came a day after the opposition collectively failed to mount a successful challenge to the PTI government's budget for fiscal 2020.
"The only solution to the present situation is a fresh election," the opposition leader continued. He also backtracked from his position on the 'charter of economy' after Maryam Nawaz's blistering criticism last week of his proposal for the opposition and government to arrive at a common ground.
"I am bound to obey Nawaz Sharif," he said.
'Call for mid-term elections shows Shehbaz's naivety'
Special Assistant to PM on Political Affairs Naeem ul Haq in response, brushed aside Shehbaz's announcement saying that his call for mid-term elections "shows his naivety hence cannot be taken seriously".
"The passage of the federal finance bill despite the opposition’s shenanigans is an achievement of PM Imran Khan and his cabinet," he said in a statement released by the party's central media department.
Haq further stated that "losers of general elections 2018 cannot afford another defeat".
He said that the behaviour demonstrated by the opposition during the National Assembly session "exposed its agenda of chaos and anarchy".
“Joint opposition including Shehbaz Sharif blatantly threatened to impede the passage of the budget and the whole nation has witnessed how the opposition sought to disrupt parliamentary proceedings,” said the PTI leader.
He went on to add that both leading opposition parties held parliament hostage for weeks over the issue of chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee.
Referring to the multi-party conference held by opposition parties in Islamabad, Haq said that its purpose was "to instigate chaos".
He also sought to assert that the opposition's attempts to remove the Senate chairman and "hijack state institutions" will be met with resistance.
“Neither will we be deterred by vicious designs of criminals nor will give any relief to them in the ongoing accountability,” he concluded.