Senate opp boycotts presidential address

ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties in Senate on Monday boycotted President Mamnoon Hussain’s address to the joint session in protest against what they said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s continued absence from the proceedings of the Upper House. Before the start of the session, leadership of the opposition parties in Senate, with Senator Aitzaz Ahsan in chair, gathered at the Parliament House and unanimously agreed to boycott the proceedings. Senators from PPP, ANP, BNP-A and PML-Q attended the meeting of the opposition parties. However, MQM senators opted to stay away from the boycott. Later talking to media, Aitzaz Ahsan said that the opposition in the Senate has reservations over the conduct of prime minister. He said he (Nawaz) is the only prime minister in the world who did not attend any session of the Upper House for even a moment during the whole parliamentary year. He said that federal ministers including Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Khawaja Asif too follow the prime minister and remain absent from the House. Prime minister, interior minister and defence minister should come back as opposition would not disturb them, he promised. ANP Senator Haji Adeel said there was no better way left for the opposition to register its protest. PPP leader Raza Rabbani said the president could not persuade the government to include development project for his home province in the annual budget. 

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