Opp walks out to protest presence of commandos
ISLAMABAD: The opposition in the National Assembly on Wednesday walked out of proceedings after objecting to the presence of Special Services Group (SSG) personnel within the precincts of the parliament.
Earlier, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal Deputy Secretary General Liaqat Baloch told the house that the first impression he got after reaching Parliament House was that the army had taken over again.
He demanded the SSG personnel not be allowed to remain on the parliament’s premises. Condemning their presence, he said the parliament was a symbol of democracy. Pakhtoonkhawa Milli Awami Party Parliamentary Leader Mahmood Khan Achakzai said the SSG’s presence was a breach of the parliament’s privilege. He said the opposition did not oppose either President Musharraf’s presence in his chamber or his meeting with parliamentarians. “We only condemn the presence of SSG personnel,” he added. Several treasury members denounced the opposition’s reaction and demanded maximum security for the president. National Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain said the opposition’s objections on the security arrangements were irrelevant.
However, a statement by him contradicted the information minister’s claim that the increased security measures were for the parliament’s safety as it had received terrorist threats. The speaker said everybody had the right to arrange for their own security. “More security is required for people holding important positions,” he added.
Earlier, the NA speaker told reporters that the authorities had already informed him that security would be increased inside and outside the parliament building.