Lawmakers vow to defend democracy

* PML-N lawmaker says 2013 elections most transparent in country’s history * JUI-F legislator flays Imran Khan for ‘insulting’ Fazlur Rahman

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly members on Monday vowed to defend the democratic system and urged the prime minister not to resign from his office.
Contrary to previous sessions, the prime minister along with the front benches of the party were absent from the House. The opposition parties also attended the session without their leaders, especially leader of opposition Khursheed Shah.
In the absence of frontbenchers, the backbenchers seized the opportunity to speak extensively on the current political situation under a motion that was adopted in the House last week.
Resuming debate on the current political situation in the National Assembly, PML-N lawmaker Chaudhry Mehmood Bashir Virk said the 2013 elections were the most transparent ones in the country’s history. He urged the PTI legislators to take back their resignations as otherwise, they would be taught a lesson by their voters for being non-serious.
He lauded the leaders of all parliamentary parties for supporting democracy and criticised PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri for befooling his followers.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmaker Ayaz Soomro announced that his party would stand against any attempt to derail the country’s democratic system. He also urged for impartial inquiry into Model Town carnage and saw nothing wrong in it, as law should take its course. 
About the PTI lawmakers’ resignations, Soomro said speaker should first check whether these are voluntarily submitted or they were forced to do it.
JUI-F legislator Naeema Kishwar Khan took strong exception to Imran Khan’s remarks against her party chief Fazlur Rahman and said that her party could also pay him in the same coin.
She advised the PTI leadership to refrain from ‘insulting’ the leaders of other political parties and asked them to come to parliament, as roads were not the right fora to settle the disputes.
A privilege motion should be moved against the PTI leadership for using derogatory language against the lawmakers, she said and warned that the PTI leaders should avoid using abusive language against the JUI-F chief. 
FATA MNA Dr GG Jamal called upon the protesting parties to come to the real issues such as IDPs. He also informed the House about the actual figure of IDPs in the country and said that one million IDPs were from North Waziristan Agency whereas 50,000 are from Bajaur agency, 200,000 from Khyber Agency, 300,000 from Orakzai Agency, 150,000 from Kurram Agency and 350,000 from South Waziristan Agency.
PPP’s Mir Munawar Ali Talpur said that sit-ins outside parliament were not the representation of the whole country as Sindh and Balochistan did not show any interest in it. He also ruled out the hidden hand behind these protests.

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