Senate poll amendment: Opp should have been consulted timely: Hamza

Published March 3, 2021
Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz has said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government should have taken the opposition on board for bringing the constitutional amendment related to the Senate polls well in time.  — File
Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz has said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government should have taken the opposition on board for bringing the constitutional amendment related to the Senate polls well in time. — File

LAHORE: Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz has said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government should have taken the opposition on board for bringing the constitutional amendment related to the Senate polls well in time.

Talking to reporters here on Tuesday, Mr Hamza, who got released from jail after 20 months in a money-laundering case last week, chided the government for introducing a presidential ordinance on the Senate elections, which was rendered ineffective by the Supreme Court’s decision to hold the upper house poll through a secret ballot.

“The government should have taken the opposition on board well in time on the legislation on the Senate polls, but it brought the ordinance,” he said and stressed that all stakeholders needed to sit together to steer the country out of the crises it was faced with.

Interestingly, Hamza’s cousin and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz has recently declared that the opposition won’t sit with the PTI government for any legislation, including that on the voting mode of the Senate polls, at any stage, as it did not consider the ruling setup in the country as a legitimate government.

Hamza indirectly asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as why it could not see the corruption in the BRT, Tsunami Tree and other such projects launched by the PTI government. Similarly, he pointed out there had been no progress in the foreign funding case against the PTI leadership.

To a question about the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement’s candidate Yousuf Raza Gilani’s chances against the PTI’s Hafeez Shaikh in the Senate polls for Islamabad seat, he said the former premier was a good candidate and he would win the election.

He also criticised the government for the unprecedented price hike and inflation in the country that made the lives of the masses miserable.

Meanwhile, PML-N Punjab Information Secretary Azma Bokhari has asked the PTI lawmakers to listen to the voice of their conscience and not to vote for Hafeez Shaikh, terming him a candidate of the IMF.

“Giving vote to the IMF candidate is tantamount to pushing the country on the verge of destruction,” she said.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2021

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