ISLAMABAD: Facing the wrath of the opposition parties in the National Assembly for the second consecutive day over the killings in Lahore by the Punjab Police, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Wednesday cried foul, saying the recent developments were meant to damage democracy.
The opposition parties, which have been up in arms against the government for the Punjab Police’s gunning down of the workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek on Tuesday, walked out of the session again after news reached the House that Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s MNA Tahira Asif was injured in a firing incident in Lahore. Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir called for not mingling facts with hearsay, referring to the MQM lawmakers’ observations that firing at the party lawmaker is connected to the killing of cleric Tahirul Qadri’s party workers.
Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, however, tried to pacify the opposition, saying that the incident is unfortunate and observed that it appeared to be a pre-planned scheme against democracy in the country. He said that around eight people lost their lives in Tuesday’s Lahore incident, while unidentified persons opened fire on a woman parliamentarian in the city on Wednesday. He such incidents should be condemned at all levels. “We should seriously think about the ongoing incidents, which could be dangerous for democracy in Pakistan,” Dar warned.
Dar said that he had discussed the details of the incident with the secretary of the Punjab chief minister before informing the National Assembly about it. Condemning the firing incident, the leader of the opposition, Khursheed Shah said that it was difficult to understand why unidentified people would fire on a woman parliamentarian who was visiting Lahore to condole the death of workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek.
MQM’s MNA Asif Hasnain said that the condition of the parliamentarian of his party was critical, as she has bled profusely from the gunshot wounds. He said the attack was targeted, but the police officials have claimed that it was a robbery attempt. Meanwhile, Awami Muslim League’s leader Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said that some hidden hands were trying to create difficulties for the government. He alleged that the police officials were trying to change the medical reports of victims of Lahore incident.
“It was first time in my political history that the present government killed women in Lahore,” he alleged. Earlier when session began, the name of infamous character Gullu Butt surfaced in the house when opposition members wanted to speak on it. PPP’s Shazia Marri and PTI’s Dr. Shireen Mazari along with the few others rose from their seats to talk about Gullu Butt; but Speaker Ayaz Sadiq hushed up the issue by not allowing the opposition side to speak on it.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar assured the House that a judicial commission would hold an inquiry into it and would take care of “Gullu Butt and Ullu Butt”, referring to the PML-N worker who was filmed smashing windows of several vehicles at the site of Tuesday’s clash, the whole time being watched by Punjab Police men standing by. “The law will take its course and findings would be available once the commission completes its work,” Dar said.
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