Intense protest: PML-N keeps the heat on absent Gilani

Published: May 3, 2012

" No hooting please. The proceedings are being telecast live, therefore, respect the sanctity of parliament," National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza. PHOTO: APP/ FILE

" No hooting please.
The proceedings are
being telecast live,
therefore, respect
the sanctity of
parliament," National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza. 
PHOTO: APP/ FILE RIGHT: " No hooting please.
 e proceedings are
being telecast live,
therefore, respect
the sanctity of
parliament,"
National Assembly Speaker
Dr Fehmida Mirza.
LEFT: " Yousaf Raza Gilani
is no longer the
prime minister of
Pakistan, so until his
cabinet is functional,
we will not come to
parliament,"
PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq.
ISLAMABAD: 

Keeping with their promise to not rest till the exit of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, the opposition intensified its protest against the premier in both the National Assembly and Senate on Wednesday.

While Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) senators walked out of the upper house, which they threatened to continue till the prime minister’s resignation, the party’s legislators staged a strong demonstration in the National Assembly.

The premier was once again not present in either house.

National Assembly protest

Gathering around the empty seat of the prime minister, PML-N members raised slogans throughout the session.

While Leader of the Opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan did not participate in the protest and instead sat in the back rows, as did Ayaz Amir of the PML-N, other party members were vociferous – particularly the PML-N chief’s nephew, Hamza Shahbaz.

The slogan of “Go, Gilani, Go” continued to echo in the house, as did continued desk-thumping and booklet-tearing by PML-N legislators who once again sported black armbands. Though other opposition groups did not participate in the events, Kashmala Tariq from the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q)’s Likeminded group was seen with PML-N members.

Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza tried to control the proceedings initially, pleading with the legislators to respect the “sanctity of the house”, but was unsuccessful.

However, the proceedings were not adjourned for the next day, and the house did manage to meet again.

Boycott in the Senate

While the PML-N’s senators did not demonstrate, or raise slogans, they did refuse to take part in the proceedings until Prime Minister Gilani steps down from his post.

PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq announced the boycott when Senate Chairman Nayyar Husain Bukhari wanted to commence question hour.

“According to the law and constitution, after being convicted, Yousaf Raza Gilani is no longer the prime minister of Pakistan, so until his cabinet is functional, we will not come to parliament,” he said and walked out of the house along with other PML-N senators.

Raja Zafar did not allow his colleagues to chant slogans against the prime minister on the floor.

Some work was done

Aside from, and despite the PML-N’s protestations, there were other issues discussed in parliament on Wednesday.

In the National Assembly, the order of the day had 54 items, including several private member bills, call-to-attention notices, motions, resolutions, presentation of standing committee reports and discussion on several issues of public importance.

Once reassembled after the prayer break, Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi chaired the proceedings and allowed Khurram Jahangir Wattoo to introduce a bill further to amend the Works of Defence Act 1903.

The deputy speaker dropped over a dozen items from the agenda which were to be moved by the members of opposition but allowed presentation of standing committee reports.

The oft-sabotaged Domestic Violence Bill was once again deferred after Maulana Attaur Rehman of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) suggested that it be sent back the standing committee to incorporate his party’s proposals.  Special Advisor to PM, Shehnaz Wazir Ali supported the idea of introducing a bill with consensus but the delay offended Dr Donia Aziz who left the house in protest. “If you will not let us introduce our bills, we can also protest,” she said, addressing the chair.

Over in the Senate, JUI-F’s Moulana Abdul Ghafur Haidri also walked out over the recent drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal area along with members of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Haidri said that the US neither respects Pakistan’s sovereignty nor Parliament’s recommendations.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh laid out the State Bank of Pakistan’s second quarterly report for the year 2011-12 on the state of Pakistan’s economy before the Senate. A motion was also moved by Law Minister Farooq H Naek.

The Senate also unanimously passed a resolution strongly condemning the desecration of the Holy Quran by a US Pastor Terry Jones. The resolution was moved by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Farhatullah Babar.  The resolution urged the UN secretary-general to play his role for promotion of cultural and religious harmony.

PPP lawmaker Raza Rabbani suggested the government nationalise KESC and also termed the reported idea of privatising Pakistan Railways as ‘unfortunate’.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2012.

Reader Comments (8)

  • aliza awais
    May 3, 2012 - 5:29AM

    Dear PMLN Workers!!! Why don’t you just do one thing,Resign from Provincial and National Assemblies,All problems will be solved Automatically….
    Enough of this TOPI DRAMA please….

    Recommend

  • Uzair
    May 3, 2012 - 8:45AM

    The media and PTI have collectively ruined the image of Ch. Nisar. If you listen to him he is indeed an educated and reserved man, despite being the opposition leader he did not participate with these hooligans raising slogans.

    Recommend

  • May 3, 2012 - 11:51AM

    Who will say,
    not rest till the exit of all the problems,
    being faced by the people of Pakistan,
    including load shedding and gas crisis.

    Recommend

  • Scholar
    May 3, 2012 - 11:56AM

    @Uzair ! Sarcastic ?

    Recommend

  • May 3, 2012 - 11:59AM

    In case,
    incumbent prime minister step down,
    who would be the next in place of Gilani,?
    It is crystal clear,from PPP,why they are so
    impatient? recently the unrest being created
    goes to national interests ??????

    Recommend

  • May 3, 2012 - 12:05PM

    Desecration of holy Quraan by a American paster,
    they are not our friends.I have found a unique evidence,
    if you want to see,open the holy book and find.

    Recommend

  • May 3, 2012 - 12:16PM

    Global law says,
    respect all religions,
    why they,narrow minded people commits barbaric act,
    resulting in ,chances of carnage and bloodshed.

    Recommend

  • May 3, 2012 - 12:22PM

    Desecration of holy book,
    who committed the crime
    deserve no sympathy.

    Recommend

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