Punjab opposition joins hands in bid to oust PM

Published: July 8, 2017
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE: The opposition joined hands to submit a resolution before the Punjab Assembly (PA) on Friday, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif till a final decision is reached by over the Panamagate scandal.

The resolution contained the signatures of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf legislators, Dr Waseem Akhtar of Jamaat-e-Islami, Faiza Ahmed Malik of PPP and Khadija Umar of PML-Q. The move was headed by opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed.

He said that opposition parties of the Punjab Assembly were on one page over the resignation of the PM. “The rulers are tarnishing the image of Pakistan with their regular appearances before a joint investigation team (JIT). Therefore, the house is demanding the PM’s resignation”.

He said opposition parties want the PM to step down till the final decision of the Supreme Court. He also declared that a movement would be launched against the rulers after July 10, adding the nation is awaiting their call.

On Thursday, Opposition parties teamed up to mount pressure on Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif to step down for alleged involvement in corruption and mismanagement of public funds.

Speaking at a meeting on Thursday, opposition party leaders from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) announced that they would launch a campaign against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and CM Shehbaz from July 10.

The meeting was organised again organised by opposition leader Mian Mahmoodur Rasheed, while deputy opposition Leader Sabtain Khan, JI’s Dr Waseem Akhtar, PML-Q’s Khadija Umar Farooqi, PPP’s Faiza Malik, PTI’s Shoaib Siddiqui, Dr Murad Raas and Sadia Sohail Rana were in attendance.

The leaders strongly criticised the protocol given to the PM’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz, on Wednesday when she appeared before the joint investigation team (JIT) constituted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan to probe the Panama leaks case.

They also lashed out at the ruling PML-N for levelling false allegations against the judiciary, the apex court and the JIT. The parliamentary leaders discussed Panama Papers case proceedings, corruption in provincial development projects and the ruling party’s criticisms of judiciary, military and JIT at length. They decided to raise these concerns in the upcoming session of the Punjab Assembly.

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, opposition leader Mahmoodur Rasheed said if the ruling party did not mend its attitude, he and his allies would start an agitation campaign against the government from July 10 – the day on which the final report of the JIT’s is expected to be made public.

He added the ruling party was trying to attack the apex court like it did in the 90s, but they should keep in mind that opposition parties and the entire nation stands with the SC and JIT.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2017.

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