Uproar in NWFP PA over Sharifs’ deportation
PESHAWAR: Members of three opposition parties and female legislators of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) in the Frontier Assembly on Monday protested against the harassment of Sharif family and their forced deportation from the country, and staged a token walkout amid an uproar in the House.
Earlier, members of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan People’s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) also walked out of the proceedings in the provincial assembly after a heated verbal exchange with members of PML-QA and PPP-Sherpao. The opposition accused the PPP-S and PML-QA parliamentarians of cutting deals with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the various corruption cases against them in exchange for their support to the government.
On a Point of Order, PML-N Parliamentary Leader Anwar Kamal Marwat raised the issue of the deportation of the family of former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif. He said Nusrat Shahbaz and her two daughters were harassed by the Punjab government and were forced to stay inside their residence on the directives of the federal government.
He said the authorities had cut off power, water and gas supply to their house, adding to the troubles of the female members of the Sharif family. The PML-N leader criticised President Musharraf for his “false claims” with regard to the restoration of democracy and women rights in Pakistan at Camp David.
“I walk out of the House as a protest against the action of the federal and the Punjab governments as even our women are not safe in their own country,” he said and walked out of the assembly, a move supported and copied by the MMA’s female legislators. ANP Parliamentary Leader Bashir Ahmed Bilour proposed a resolution to allow former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto to return to Pakistan and then walked out of the House in protest along with PPPP Parliamentary Leader Abdul Akbar Khan.
Later, PML-QA’s Saeed Khan said the Sharif family had left the country under a deal with the government. “Why did they leave if they loved their country?” he asked. He said the Sharif women were granted leave to stay in the country for two weeks but they “chose to stay for three weeks”.
“The wedding was just an excuse for the ladies to come to Pakistan,” he alleged. The PML-QA leader defended the policies of President Musharraf and said he had given 33 percent representation to women in the parliament. NWFP Law Minister Malik Zafar Azam said that if the Sharif family had gone out of the country under a deal, Mr Saeed Khan should tell the House what it was and divulge the details.
MMA’s Qari Abdullah said if Nawaz Sharif was a “national criminal” and went out of the country through a deal, who gave President Musharraf the right to allow “a criminal” to leave the country.
Announcing his ruling, Speaker Bakht Jehan said there should not be further discussions on it as it was an issue for the Punjab the federal government. “I’ll not allow further debate on it.”
Earlier, the House unanimously passed the supplementary budget after approving two grants for roads, highways, bridges and an additional annual development programme. The speaker adjourned the house till today.