ISLAMABAD: Hours after Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif warned Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to step down or face a protest movement, all hell broke loose in the National Assembly as the opposition benches raised slogans and disrupted the session.
MNAs from PML-N had arrived in the National Assembly wearing black armbands as a sign of protest against Gilani, who has repeatedly refused their calls to step down on account of his conviction by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in a contempt case.
Members of PML-N went straight to sloganeering after the recitation of the Holy Quran, disrupting the question and answer session. The MNAs were seen holding up placards that said ‘Go Gilani Go’, ‘We want freedom’ and ‘Respect the judiciary’.
They also tore up booklets and threw them towards the front of the assembly.
So loud was the ruckus created by PML-N MNAs, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain failed to start the question and answer session due to the noise in the assembly.
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Faisal Karim Kundi was forced to adjourn the session till Wednesday.
The parliamentary committee of PML-N had earlier met under the chairmanship of Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar to devise a strategy for their protest against Gilani’s refusal to step down as prime minister.
During an earlier session, PML-N MNAs had threatened that they would not let Gilani sit on his chair in the assembly, but had walked out in protest instead.
The PML-N has repeatedly called for Gilani to step down as prime minister since the Supreme Court of Pakistan convicted him in a contempt of court case after he refused to write a letter to Swiss authorities, asking that cases against President Asif Ali Zardari be reopened.
The largest opposition party – PML-N – has already announced it would continue to force the ruling PPP to nominate a new prime minister.