NA session: With joint strategy, Opposition set to give govt a hard time

Published: January 12, 2019
National Assembly of Pakistan. PHOTO: APP

National Assembly of Pakistan. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: In the upcoming National Assembly session on Monday, the opposition is going to follow a joint strategy and give the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government a hard time particularly about its plans to introduce a mini budget.

Talking to The Express Tribune, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s Khursheed Shah said the government may put additional burden of taxes on the common man through a new budget which the opposition would robustly oppose.

“This is going to be the third mini budget in the fiscal year. The ongoing surge in prices has immensely affected the people and they will not be able to survive anything more.

“The opposition will not remain silent as it is our responsibility and our duty to stop the government from taking any measure against the public,” he said.  To a question about formation of NA standing committees, Shah said there does not seem to be any deadlock on the issue.

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“We have pondered over the issue in a meeting with the NA speaker and in the last NA session we had resolved to immediately set up the standing committees for PAC [Public Accounts Committee] and law ministry while discussion for other standing committees will be made in the next session.”

Shah said the speaker had declared it indispensable that the government and the opposition through consensus pass legislation in the larger interest of the public.  “We have assured him that the opposition is ready to support legislation process for resolution of issues faced by the people,” he added.

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To a question pertaining to contacts between the two big opposition parties, the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Shah said all opposition parties are on the same page.

The PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurganzeb also confirmed that the opposition will jointly raise all issues in the upcoming NA session, including issues and problems faced by the public.

According to sources, the issues to be discussed by the opposition in the lower house of parliament include threats to country’s economy due to ongoing financial crisis, unscrupulous increase in prices and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) cases against leaders of opposition parties.

The opposition is also set to demand that the house be taken into confidence about the recent international tours of the prime minister. In addition, the opposition will also raise the issue of alleged discovery of new offshore properties of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khanum.

The session may also see discussions on various national issues including situation at the Line of Control and a possible extension in tenure of the military courts.

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