Shehbaz Sharif arrest: Opposition submits requisition for NA meeting

Opposition leaders visit Asad Qaiser's residence


Riazul Haq October 06, 2018
Shehbaz Sharif at a campaign rally in Lyari, Karachi on June 26, 2018. PHOTO:AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and its allies have submitted a requisition to the National Assembly speaker, calling for summoning a parliamentary session to discuss the sudden arrest of the Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif in connection with a housing scandal.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Shehbaz on Friday creating a political storm with the main opposition parties, including the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), terming it an act of political vendetta and a move to favour the ruling party in the upcoming by-polls..

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The requisition, submitted on Saturday, has been signed by some 90 lawmakers from opposition benches urging the speaker to summon a session at the earliest. The first NA session after installation of the new government was prorogued till Oct 24 after passage of the money bill with a majority vote.

On Saturday, the PML-N’s Ayaz Saddiq and some other opposition members first gathered at the Parliament House. The group also comprising the PML-N’s Raja Zafarul Haq, Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Rana Tanveer Hussain, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and the Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) Shahida Akhtar Ali later visited Speaker Asad Qaiser at his official residence.

The opposition members while submitting a requisition for a new session also urged the speaker to issue production orders for Shehbaz Sharif so that he may appear in the session.

Sadiq, who was speaker of the previous National Assembly, said the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Pervez Khattak and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will also be contacted to garner their support for summoning the session without any hindrance.

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ASadiq said Pervez Khattak and Shah Mehmood Qureshi will also be contacted today. He reiterated the claim that PML-N was being politically targeted through the National Accountability Bureau.

Raja Zafarul Haq, leader of the opposition in the Senate said the arrest was baseless and that protests would be held.

He said officially the requisition had been submitted which meant that the session had to be called within 14 days. “However, we have requested the speaker not to wait for 14 days and call the session as early as possible.”

He reiterated that the PML-N is being politically targeted through NAB.  Haq, who is also leader of opposition in the Senate, said the arrest is baseless and the opposition would hold protests against it.

Referring to the statement of Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, Sadiq said it is political victimisation and statements of the federal minister have proved that.

He also questioned timing of putting the PML-N senior member Saad Rafique’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) as Rafique is contesting by-election on one of the NA seats in Lahore.

The JUI-F’s leader termed the arrest a cowardly act and said it was shameful to target only one party. “Opposition will not back off by such antics of the government,” he said. The JI’s Shahida Ali also condemned the arrest.

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