ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday sent out a clear message that ‘Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will not resign’ despite thousands of people staging a sit-in outside the Parliament H led by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri as the house adopted a resolution in favour of the beleaguered government.
The premier appreciated the resolution adopted by the National Assembly which backed the prime minister on keeping his high office and condemned the derogatory language used by Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri.
Nawaz, who used to be a rare sight at the National Assembly, has visited the Parliament thrice in the past week due to heightening political tension with marchers reaching the federal capital and protesting against his government.
Though a majority of opposition members were missing during Thursday’s session, the premier succeeded in getting support from parliamentary parties in the house of 342 members against 38 members of opposition parties including PTI and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q).
The prime minister thanked the chief of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMap) Mehmood Khan Achakzai—who tabled the resolution—by waving his hands towards him when the house adopted the resolution.
The resolution adopted by the house states,
“This House rejects the unconstitutional demands from certain political parties for the resignation of the Prime Minister and the dissolution of the National Assembly and deplores the extremely derogatory, defamatory and inflammatory language used by leaders and members of these parties in their speeches. This House resolves to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the sovereignty of Parliament, which embodies the will and the mandate of the people of Pakistan, and the prevalence of the rule of law. It reiterates its resolve to ensure that the democratic system continues to function and flourish in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.”
Though Nawaz attended the NA session, he did not address the assembly. He just took notes during the session and remained busy interacting with his cabinet members.
Many in the house and those sitting in the galleries were expecting Nawaz to address the assembly. At one point the staff of the assembly started preparation to set the mic system and stage for the PM to address. But the day's session ended with the Speaker simply announced adjournment of the hour for the next day.
Earlier, lawmakers gave a warm reception to Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah as he entered the house.
Sherpao questions the agenda behind sit-ins
Qaumi Watan Party (QWP)’s chief Aftab Ahmad Sherpao said that both PAT and PTI left Lahore and arrived in Islamabad the same day and later held rallies and crossed into the Red Zone area for a sit-in outside the parliament house, all this is apparently part of some kind of conspiracy theory. “We want to know who’s backing their agenda,” he asked.
Referring to Imran Khan as 'Kaptaan,' Sherpao said that he keeps changing his statements and decisions every now and then.
Condemning the use of undemocratic tactics and of Imran labeling the parliament as fake, Sherpao said that sacrifices rendered by the nation for the rule of law and restoration of democracy would not go to waste.
He claimed that from Peshawar to Karachi, the entire business-community has denounced the civil disobedience movement. Today the democratic voices are inside the parliament and only a few thousands sitting outside, he added.
Sherpao further claimed that because of the protests, Pakistan could not fulfill its international commitment and a visit by the President of Sri Lanka was postponed.
38 MNAs can not make a decision about a house of 342
Lauding the government’s patience in these trying times, Ijazul Haq said that the government has support of the opposition, “38 MNAs [of PTI] cannot make a decision about a house of 342 members.”
“I will lay down my life before anything happens to my country.”
He said Imran wishes to become the prime minister, but he is using language that “we have perhaps not even used against our worst competitors”.
“What we have seen in the assembly in last few days, is that two parties are on one side, or maybe two-and-a half, and the rest of the parliamentarians are on the other side,” Haq said, adding that “The army is staying up all night to protect us.”
Sharing his 26-year political experience, Haq said that in the past, whenever the government was toppled it was isolated but this time the entire Parliament except for a few, were standing in its support.
While addressing the session, Haq said that those political parties who were protesting, should consider holding dialogue within constitutional parameters.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Abdul Sattar Bachani said that we listen to the abusive language sitting in the parliament lodges every night. “I am surprised how the people decided to vote for Imran Khan and accepted him as a leader.”
Claiming that Imran was performing at a musical show outside the parliament, Bachani said it was high time he ends the political drama.
“Will Chaudhry Shujaat, Ghulam Mustafa Khar and Asif Ahmad Ali bring revolution?”