Opposition censures Shah’s arrest in National Assembly

Says proofs against lawmakers should be presented in the parliament

Ahmed Mansoor September 19, 2019
Khursheed Shah in NAB custody. SCREEN GRAB

ISLAMABAD: Condemning the arrest of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) stalwart Syed Khursheed Shah’s by National Accountability Bureau, opposition leaders in National Assembly said on Thursday that the accountability watchdog’s action was aimed at ridiculing the senior leaders intentionally.

They demanded that the proofs against the lawmakers gathered by the anti-graft buster should be presented in the parliament

Commenting on the opposition protest, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed remarked he thought the members on the other side of the benches were protesting on the Kashmir issue but then realised they were bewailing their own problems.

As the National Assembly session began, opposition did not allow the proceedings to be held and took up the matter of Khursheed Shah’s detention.

Lamenting the MNA’s arrest, PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf said that Shah was one of the senior most leaders in the parliament and questioned if he was fleeing that he was taken into custody.
He maintained if Shah was sent the questionnaire, he would have responded.

“Parliamentarians are intentionally being arrested so that their image can be tarnished. The National Assembly speaker should summon NAB and ask for proofs against Khursheed Shah,” he said.
He alleged that politicians were being targeted while businessman and bureaucrats had been given amnesty.

NAB team searches Khursheed Shah's home, leaves empty-handed

“Before the arrest of politicians, a media campaign was launched to malign them,” he said.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif also denounced Shah’s arrest.

“I have been witnessed to Shah’s behaviour for the last 30 years. He has always added to the respect and dignity of the House,” he said.
“When we try to root out our colleagues and become a tool at the hands of others, democracy suffers,” he added.

Shah’s old friend and parliamentarian Naveed Qamar was also critical of his detention and said that speaker was the protector of the House of elected members.

“Inflation and other issues being faced by the country will not be resolved by arresting the opposition,” he declared.
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F’s) Maulana Asad Mahmood also condemned Shah’s nabbing.

The opposition members again demanded of the speaker to issue production order for all jailed parliamentarians including Khursheed Shah.

Assets beyond means: NAB arrests PPP leader Khursheed Shah

Replying to the opposition member, PTI leader Murad Saeed said, “The NAB chairman was appointed by you. If the question about source of money is raised at you, you should have the answer”.
He added, “Your own interior minister hurled accusations in fake bank accounts case”.

While, commenting on Kashmir issue, Saeed said the international community was endorsing Pakistan's narrative due to effective diplomacy and bold initiatives of the government.
He observed that the international media and forums were supporting Pakistan's stance on Kashmir.

“After 53 years, United Nations Security Council discussed the Kashmir issue,” he said.

Saeed maintained it would be much better if a message was sent to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from the Parliament that the whole nation was united and stood by the Kashmiris.

The opposition gathered around the dais of Speaker and asked Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri to allow them to speak on the arrest of Khursheed Shah.

Suri asserted that he would not take dictation from anyone and would run the House according to the rules of business.
The session of the House was prorogued for an indefinite period.


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