Opposition conducts ‘Awami Ijlas’ outside Punjab Assembly

Demands of Prime Minister Imran Khan to set the house in order first


Rana Yasif October 11, 2018
PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: The opposition legislators conducted what they called an “Awami Ijlas” on a road outside the Punjab Assembly building and demanded of Prime Minister Imran Khan to initiate accountability from his own ranks rather than putting more people behind the bars.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s legislators tried to enter into the Punjab Assembly premises for conducting their own ‘Awami Ijlas’ at PA stairs but they were not allowed to do so as the Punjab governor had not summoned the session of the assembly. According to a notification, the governor had summoned the session of Punjab Assembly on October 16 which would be presided over by Speaker Pervez Elahi.

After failing to enter the PA, the opposition was left with no option but to start the ‘proceedings of Awami Ijlas’ on the road as all gates of the assembly were closed.

Former Punjab Assembly speaker Rana Iqbal Khan ‘conducted the proceedings’ but seemed helpless before his MPAs to keep the ‘proceedings’ in order.

The PML-N’s MPAs delivered fiery speeches against the PTI’s government and PM Imran Khan over his conduct to run the country as well as against the price hike which they said was ‘the last nail in the coffin of the poor masses’. They also condemned the arrest of former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif also eulogised the projects which he (Shehbaz) had completed to put Punjab on the right track.

In his speech, opposition leader Mian Hamza Shehbaz Sharif demanded of the PM Khan to set his house in order first suggesting there were PTI’s leaders like Jahangir Tareen, Aleem Khan, Babar Awan, Aleema Khanum, Zulfi Bukhari, Sarwar Khan and others who had embezzled billions.

He also suggested PM Khan to include aforementioned names in the list of those 50 corrupt people whom he had claimed to put in jail.

He said if Maryam Nawaz could go to jail with her father and the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif so why could Aleema Khannum not go to jail in her offshore company’s case. Criticising the NAB over the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif, he said Shehbaz was the man who worked day and night for the people to put the province on right track. “Is it Shehbaz’s offence that he had not awarded contracts to a corrupt contractor in Punjab but Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had granted the Metro project of billions to the same contractor.”

He also gave PM Khan a title of ‘U-turn Khan’ intimating him not to pose threats to PML-N of jails. He said where did go PM Khan’s stance when he had made tall claims of not going for a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Hamza said the nation wanted to know the motives behind the IGP’s transfer. “Was it done to protect Mansha as and the son of PTI’s minister Mehmoodur Rasheed?”

He also claimed that the nation did not accept Imran Khan as the prime minister because he ‘stole the mandate’. He said Khan should start anti-encroachment operation from Bani Gala. The opposition leader warned the Punjab government that they (the opposition) would give the rulers a tough time if the existing local government system was changed.

“The prices of almost all the essential items have been increased which will become ‘the last nail in the coffin of the poor masses’.”

“What kind of democracy is this where the elected MPAs are not allowed to enter into the assembly?” he remarked. “Bolting the doors of the assembly tantamount to shutting the democratic system.” He also lashed out at Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi for not allowing them to enter into assembly’s premises.

Speaking on the occasion, former railway minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said closing the assembly’s doors was like ‘a conduct of dictatorship’. He also warned that the opposition would come on streets if the conduct of the government did not improve.

 

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