ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday was extended a lifeline from the National Assembly not to resign from his office on the demands of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).
The prime minister, who arrived at the parliament building while surrounded by workers of PAT on the instructions of their leader Dr Tahirul Qadri, was greeted with overwhelming support from members of the treasury as well as the Opposition.
Lawmakers asked the prime minister to publicly announce that he would not resign from premiership.
“Prime Minister should not resign at any cost”, Mahmood Khan Ackakzai of Pakhtunkawa Milli Awami Party asked Nawaz. Ackakzai also urged that assembly should remain in the session and opposed any suggestion to move the session to any other place in view of sit-ins outside parliament building.
Achakzai declared that, “We will not allow anyone to move the session to another place and would hold it here even if we are killed.” Adding that if the so-called ‘Peoples Parliament’ of Dr Qadri and Imran Khan have hundreds of thousands of followers, this parliament has the backing of millions of people of the country. Terming the staging of the ‘Peoples Parliament’ an unconstitutional act, he demanded that the government and law enforcing agencies should make sure the smooth arrival of members in the house.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl group (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman backed the prime minister and urged the premier to say “no” to the demands of those protesting outside the Parliament House.
“We are standing by prime minister and no one would dare to destabilise the democratic system.”
He added that all political parties were backing democracy and the Parliament had vowed to stand against all those who want to grab power by by-passing the Parliament.
The JUI-F chief lamented that unseen forces were backing Qadri despite his anti-Constitution acts and questioned why Qadri has not been taken to task, while Sufi Mohammad in Malakand Division was brought to task for the same thing that Qadri was doing.
The JUI-F chief also threatened to disturb the system of Qadri if he succeeds in toppling the current system and said that if his group decided to stage a sit-in, then they [Qadri and Imran] would forget about their small sit-ins.
Speaking on the occasion Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Shazia Marri said that the objective of the Azadi March should not disgrace the Parliament and the Constitution, adding that the supremacy of the Parliament should be a priority of all democratic forces.
Reminding the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that had they not allowed the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif during the PPP’s tenure when Shahbaz had proclaimed he would drag the then elected President in the streets, then they would not have had to face the current situation where Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa chief minister was demanding the resignation from the prime minister.
Joining the chorus, PPP’s MNA Ijaz Jhakrani asked why should the prime minister resign. “Give some concrete reason for it.”
Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Rasheed Godil also backed Nawaz and demanded PTI to resign from assemblies as they announced couple of days back.
The government side was also in full swing to interact with other parliamentary groups in the house with members shuttling from one parliamentary party to the other in the house to speak on the floor of the house. Some treasury and even cut short the speeches of their members to give time to other parliamentary groups.
PML-N’s Obaidullah Shadikhel, who had lost the general elections against Imran on NA-71 before winning it in the subsequent by-elections, suggested the government take stern action PTI chief. He claimed that Imran would understand the language of reconciliation.
The chair had to expunge some strong words of Shadikhel against Imran and his supporters saying that it didn’t suit him to behave like Imran Khan.
The house was then adjourned till August 21, 2014.