RAWALPINDI: The majority of the Opposition members today [March 26] kept out of the National Assembly in response to the UDF’s directive to boycott its proceedings till its demands for constitutional amendments were met; but the Assembly proceeded with consideration of the Constitution Bill, following a statement by the Law Minister, Mr Abdul Hafeez Pirzada, that the President was willing to … talk to the … Opposition on their demands “on the condition that they must first come back to the House”.

Consideration of the controversial provisions was, however, deferred till the response of the Opposition … was received. The President’s offer to the Opposition … was turned down by the UDF’s spokesman, Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan, who told a hurriedly called Press conference … that all the Opposition parties … had joined the UDF and were bound by its discipline. — Special Representative

[Meanwhile, as reported by news agencies from Manila,] Government troops killed 200 “rebels” … in a six-hour battle with Muslims in the Southern Philippines, military authorities said. … In terms of casualties, it was the biggest single battle so far … involving Government forces and “insurgents” since President Ferdinand E. Marcos declared Martial Law.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2023

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