The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) took its routine protest against the government to the doorstep of the Presidency on Monday.
PML-N lawmakers, led by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, marched from the Parliament House to the Aiwan-e-Sadr where they staged a sit-in. Supporters of the party also joined them.
They defied all security barriers and briefly scuffled with policemen who tried to stop them from marching towards the Presidency. The PML-N lawmakers and supporters were shouting ‘Go-Zardari-Go’.
In a brief speech outside the Presidency, Chaudhry Nisar warned that his party would mount an Arab Spring-like movement, if the government did not honour the Supreme Court’s orders.
“They are the worst rulers in our history and have no right to remain in power,” he said, describing President Asif Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani as ‘unlawful’ rulers’.
Earlier, the National Assembly resumed its debate on the federal budget 2012-13. However, empty chambers once again left the debate only to a few lawmakers who had decided to show up.
Chaudhry Saud Majeed of the PML-N pointed out the lack of quorum as only 50 legislators were present in the house. Soon after, lawmakers from the treasury benches began pouring in and the house was declared in order after the number of members rose beyond the required attendance of 86.
Abdul Ghani Talpur of the PPP said the budget was near perfect and left no space for the opposition to criticise the government. “The opposition’s absence implies it has accepted the budget,” Talpur added.
After eulogising the budget, Talpur went on to point flawed polices, particularly in the fields of education, health and energy. “The education department is in a shambles and needs immediate remedial measures,” he said.
PPP’s Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor appreciated the government’s steps for reconciliation but expressed disappointment at the festering energy crisis.
“End to the energy crisis is not in sight which, in turn, is impeding economic development,” he said. He lamented that major issues affecting the economy had not been addressed.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 12th, 2012.
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