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MPs resolve to defend parliament, constitution

Parliamentarians reject demand for PM’s resignation

ISLAMABAD – As the political turmoil continues amidst some indications of a breakthrough, a largely united parliament on Wednesday resolved to protect the sanctity of the elected house and would not allow Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign.


Reacting strongly to the derogatory language of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek against the parliament, they said the parliament represents the voice of 180 million people and it would complete its mandated five-year term.


The members once again pledged to standby the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the sake of democracy and constitution. The joint session of the parliament for the second day on Wednesday saw all parties putting aside their differences to stand against what they termed were attempts to derail the democratic process.


Taking the floor on Wednesday, ANP’s Senator Zahid Khan said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should not resign at any cost as it would bring insult to the parliament. Dubbing the 2013 election as selection, he said that they accepted the election for the sake of Pakistan and said that biggest fraud was done in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


He said that the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa ditched his province and has come to besiege Islamabad. With his comment, he suggested that if a treason case can be registered against Sufi Muhammad, the radical cleric of Taliban in Swat, then why not a treason case can be filed against the protesting leaders who are openly denouncing the parliament.


Mir Hasil Bizenjo said it was democratic attitude of the government and the opposition parties which allowed the protesting parties to stage their sit-ins in the federal capital. But it is regrettable that the protesting parties were now blatantly using abusive language against the political parties and the prime minister, he said. He said the Chinese president was coming on an important visit and if his visit was postponed, then their protest would not be against the government but Pakistan.


 


Qaumi Wattan Party Chairman Aftab Sherpao said that Nawaz Sharif would stay as the prime minister for the next four years. He said that the protesting groups were showing their lack of trust in the Supreme Court by not accepting judicial commission. He asked as to why PTI lawmakers were not submitting their resignations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.


He commended the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) members who did not tender resignations and congratulated Nasir Khattak, Gulzar Khan and Mussarat Ahmed Zaib on making the right decision to support democracy. He said that it’s the beauty of democracy that the lawmakers were there without a telephone call from someone. He clarified that they were not with PML-N, but in the opposition and playing their role as an opposition party.


Rising on a point of order after the speech of PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Mahmood Khan Achakzai said the joint sitting should pass a resolution against the attacks on the parliament and the Pakistan Television. He said the resolution should also carry the signatures of the PTI as they have disassociated themselves from these attacks.


Rising on a point of personal explanation on the speech of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said it was an attempt to create misunderstanding on certain issues. He rejected the assertion of the PTI vice chairman regarding the attack on the parliament, saying their leader congratulated Tahirul Qadri on this assault. He said the entire nation and the parliament are united for the continuity of the democratic system.


He said it has been categorical stance of the government from day one that the Prime Minister will not resign under any circumstances and this issue is non-negotiable. He said most of the demands of the PTI have already been accepted with the constitution of electoral reforms committee and the announcement for a judicial commission to probe alleged rigging in the 2013 elections.


Fazlur Rehman said the PTI members had tendered their resignation to shake the parliament but their plot failed due to unity shown by the other political parties. He complained that the PTI vice chairman would not have been allowed to speak. Speaker Ayaz Sadiq clarified that he allowed Shah Mahmood Qureshi to speak on the floor of the House on the request of the government and the opposition parties.

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