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PML-N MPAs hold Punjab PA session

February 26, 2009

LAHORE Despite the imposition of governor's rule in Punjab, the provincial assembly speaker called an emergency session on Wednesday night to adopt a resolution moved by PML-N legislators condemning the Supreme Court verdict disqualifying the party's patron Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif form contesting elections and holding public office.

Speaker Rana Mohammad Iqbal convened the session on a requisition submitted by 120 MPAs. And 125 MPAs, all belonging to the PML-N, converged at the house at 8pm and raised slogans against President Asif Zardari and in favour of Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif.

The speaker said he had called the session using his powers under Article 543 of the Constitution.

Outgoing law minister Rana Sanaullah tabled the resolution which stated 'This house considers the Supreme Court's decision an attack on democracy.' We not only reject the disqualification of the elected chief minister by the judges who took oath under the Provisional Constitution Order at the behest of President Asif Ali Zardari, but also condemn it.

'This house understands that an attempt has been made to derail the democratic process.' The mandate given by the people has been ridiculed by the PCO court.

'We express full confidence in the leadership of PML-N quaid Nawaz Sharif and party president Shahbaz Sharif and will follow them in their struggle for democracy, rule of law and an independent judiciary.'

During the session, PML-N legislators kept shouting slogans against President Zardari and Governor Salman Taseer, as did dozens of angry activists of the party who had gathered outside the assembly building.

Rana Sanaullah said the judges who had disqualified the leaders had earlier validated the Nov 3 attack on the Supreme Court and allowed the then chief of army staff Pervez Musharraf to contest presidential election in uniform.

He said the same PCO judges had now attacked an elected government.

Sardar Zulfikar Ali Khan Khosa said Nawaz Sharif would go to the four provinces in a campaign against the 'cruel' decision.

The speaker adjourned the session till 10am on Thursday.