Lower House again throws weight behind Nawaz

* National Assembly adopts unanimous resolution to reject what it calls unconstitutional demand of resignation of prime minister

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Thursday again threw its weight behind beleaguered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when it unanimously adopted a resolution to reject what it called the unconstitutional demand of his resignation.
Prime Minister Nawaz, who has been often criticised for his prolonged absence from the House in the past, turned up there again on Thursday during its session to witness the passage of resolution in his favour. The resolution provided much-needed relief to the premier in the prevailing stressful political situation created by the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) protest sit-ins.
The House reverberated with slogans in favour of PM Nawaz when Tahmina Daultana shouted slogans in his support. The rest of the members welcomed the prime minister with loud desk thumping upon his arrival in the House. “This House rejects the unconstitutional demands from certain political parties for the resignation of the prime minister and the dissolution of the National Assembly and deplores the extremely derogatory, defamatory and inflammatory language used by leaders and members of these parties in their speeches,” the resolution read, which was tabled by Mahmood Khan Ackakzai, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief.
It resolved to uphold the supremacy of the constitution, sovereignty of parliament, which embodies the will and the mandate of the people of Pakistan, and the prevalence of the rule of law. It reiterated the resolve to ensure that the democratic system continues to function and flourish in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. Lawmakers from both treasury and opposition sides slammed the two protesting parties “for hatching the conspiracy against democracy”.
Taking the floor Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) chief Aftab Khan Sherpao strongly condemned the use of derogatory language against Nawaz Sharif and opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah. He also condemned the use of undemocratic tactics and labelling of parliament as fake and said that the sacrifices rendered by the nation for the rule of law and restoration of democracy would not go waste. “Few thousand people cannot make hostage the whole system, parliament, democracy and above all the economy,” he said.
Pakistan Muslim League-Z (PML-Z)’s chief Ijazul Haq, who is also a member of the meditation team negotiating with PAT, showed his concern over women and children who are part of the protest rallies sleeping on roads. “In the past every government has been left alone but this time the opposition is standing in its support,” said Ijaz. He appreciated the fact that the government has demonstrated patience and dealt with the political crisis tolerantly. “Will the 38 people of the assembly decide to halt the National Assembly sessions because of the protests?” he asked.
Speaking on his turn, Pakistan People’s Party’s Abdul Sattar Bachani said, “I am surprised how people decided to vote for Imran Khan and accepted him as a leader?” He urged Prime Minister Nawaz to take the House into confidence about the government’s future course of action. MQM’s lawmaker Asif Hasnain said that they would accept the decision of parliament on this situation. “If parliament is strengthened democracy will flourish further,” he added.
Prime Minister Sharif had on Wednesday received support from all the parties in the National Assembly. Prime Minister Nawaz, who came to attend the session of the assembly, was besieged by workers of PAT on the instructions of their leader Tahirul Qadri. However, he was greeted with overwhelming support from the members of the treasury as well as opposition upon his arrival in the House. Amidst the siege of the parliament building by PAT workers, the lawmakers called upon Nawaz to publicly announce that he would not resign from premiership. 
“The prime minister should not resign at any cost,” Mahmood Khan Ackakzai said. The same appeal came from Maulana Fazlur Rahman, JUI-F chief, who emphatically stated that the prime minister should say “no” to the demand of protesting parties outside the Parliament House. 

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