Opposition’s position: Expect a very noisy PML-N, Mr President

Published: March 17, 2012

PML-N MNAs will thump desks, raise slogan­s, may even boycot­t joint sessio­n. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

LAHORE: 

The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) may be in a celebratory mood – given that today their party chief will be the first president to address a joint session of Parliament for a fifth consecutive year.   

But the opposition Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) is set to gatecrash.

According to sources, the party will not let the president sail through his address smoothly: Members will thump desks and chant slogans. In fact, the PML-N is said to have assigned six members to deliver speeches without their mikes – and after doing so, the party will walk out, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.

According to sources, party president Nawaz Sharif who is in London for the treatment of his wife, has asked leaders of the opposition in the Senate and National Assembly, Ishaq Dar and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, to implement this strategy.

Last year, Chaudhry Nisar wanted to speak on a point of order after the president’s speech – but he was not allowed. After some protest, the PML-N boycotted the joint session. That however was after the president’s speech went by smoothly.

A well-placed source in the PML-N said that, last year, high-ups of the PPP contacted Nawaz Sharif to ask that the address be allowed to go smoothly – which it did. However, this year, the case will be different and Shahbaz Sharif has been drawing out the strategy. The PPP, in the meantime, is still trying to convince Senator Dar to allow the address to go by smoothly.

While there may be no attempt to stop the speech outright – there will be plenty of noise during it. The walkout/boycott will take place just as President Zardari is about to end the speech.

Those tasked with raising the ruckus will include the usual suspects: MNAs Khwaja Saad Rafique, Abid Sher Ali and Hanif Abbasi. They will raise slogans against the alleged corruption of the current government, its failure to implement court orders and bad governance.

According to sources, both Dar and Nisar have called a huddle at noon today (Saturday) just before the beginning of the speech – which is slated to begin at 1.30 pm. At the meeting, party members will be informed of this strategy.

Shahbaz Sharif, meanwhile, has been on the phone, calling members to ensure their attendance, according to sources.

However, the PML-N will not support Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)’s boycott – and has decided in principle to keep its distance.

A majority of PML-N members, while talking to The Express Tribune, felt that the MQM was merely blackmailing the PPP, and could ultimately attend the session, if their demands are met.

PML-N’s Deputy General Secretary Ahsan Iqbal, when contacted, said that the PML-N would record its protest during address within democratic norms – pointing out that the treasury benches would not allow the opposition to speak on issues such as the energy crisis. However, he said the PML-N’s parliamentary party meeting today would decide what line to take during the address. When contacted, Senator Dar replied that he could not comment over the issue as the party would take a final decision today at 12pm.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • ali
    Mar 17, 2012 - 8:57AM

    Well my pmln commandos, do what you may, the not-so-famous-and-liked dude has out witted you these 4 years. Get ready for another one ;)

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  • Spacer
    Mar 17, 2012 - 11:18AM

    PMLn and their lies, deceits and triangulations.

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  • Nasir Khan
    Mar 17, 2012 - 11:22AM

    If PMLn has not played friendly opposition then we would have not suffered this much. Regret that we didn’t get good government but to our dismay not so good opposition too.

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  • Mar 17, 2012 - 11:43AM

    Noora-Kushti replay

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  • Mar 17, 2012 - 12:08PM

    For four years “friendly opposition” in the last year deceiving masses?

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  • maiden
    Mar 17, 2012 - 12:15PM

    PML N is worse than any current political party in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Mar 17, 2012 - 3:43PM

    Hypocrites

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  • Dr. Akram
    Mar 18, 2012 - 7:55AM

    How nice it would be if both parties can plan a stretagy to get this people out of miseries. They should stop this topi drama and work for Pakistan.

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