ISLAMABAD: The unanimous stance of members across the political divide in the National Assembly against brutal acts and aggression of Israel against Palestinians on Monday gave the treasury badly-needed relief against the anticipated onslaught of opposition on imposition of Article 245 in the federal capital.
The House that unanimously adopted a resolution to condemn the Israeli genocide of Palestinians, however, consumed much of the time as what would be the item on for the discussion and later adjourned without debating article 245 to be taken up on Wednesday. Opposition, appeared in a mood to give the treasury tough time over article 245 wanted to dispose off the Gaza situation simply through passage of resolution to gain more time for its outburst against the government for what it believed a political move ahead of Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Azadi March on August 14 in Islamabad.
The treasury, on the other hand pressed for taking up the Gaza situation and related resolution first to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause and then allow the discussion on article 245 and Karachi incident in which 39 people were drowned in the Arabian Sea during the Eid holidays as per the decisions agreed in the house business advisory committee. Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah even threatened to stage a walk out from the session if government escapes from debating article 245 imposition in the federal capital.
“Simply pass a resolution in favour of Palestinians as it would be enough to convey the sentiments of the parliament to the international community”, he believed and noted that if opposition staged a walkout from the session, a divided house message would go abroad. Shah also objected to words of Maulana Fazlur Rahman, an ally of government that opposition wanted to delay the debate on Gaza situation saying that PPP is the pioneer in highlighting the cause of Palestinians.
Opposition Leader also took exception to the plan to prorogue the session on August 12 and urged that it should continue beyond August 12, otherwise the political issues would go to streets if parliament was not allowed to tackle them. Mahmood Khan Ackakzai, Chief Pakhtunkhwa Awami Milli Party (PKMAP) also jumped into the foray and said that Gaza situation and article 245 are not the only two issues to be discussed but pointed towards elements which are after democracy.
He called for establishing a democratic front against all those endangering democracy and declared that he would not like to live in a country that would be ruled unconstitutional. PTI and Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed also supported opposition leader for debating 245 immediately after adopting a condemnation resolution against Israeli brutalities. Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Jamaat-e-Islami (MQM), however, wanted to speak on Gaza situation first and then article 245. MQM’s Asif Hasnian, though pointed out that reluctance of government to discuss article 245 reflects that situation is getting out of control of government.
On the assurance of Federal Minister Zahid Hamid that government would listen to opposition on article 245 paved the way for discussion on Gaza situation, which later culminated in a strongly-worded condemnation resolution against Israel for its aggression by demanding immediate end to Israeli atrocities against Palestinians. Advisor to Prime Minister Sartaz Aziz, who tabled the resolution also laid the policy statement in the house and said that Israeli acts are “unprovoked aggression” and nothing else in Gaza. Aziz claimed that government played its role effectively by raising the issue on various international forums and noted that stance of the government is reflection of aspirations of people of Pakistan.
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai on Monday urged political parties to stand united against any move to abrogate Constitution and derail democracy. “Let us decide today. Let us bring in a unanimous resolution to defend the Constitution as elected representatives,” he said on a point of order lambasting those conspiring against democracy and the Constitution.
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