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Complete Report of Heated National Assembly Session

Islamabad (October 17, 2018): Heated National Assembly session on Wednesday held in Parliament house with the Speaker Asad Qaiser in Chair.

PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Khursheed Shah and other important opposition leader attended the house.

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Earlier, Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif, who is in NAB custody these days in Ashiana Housing Scheme scandal, is attending the session on the production orders issued by the Speaker

Taking the floor at the outset, Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif thanked the speaker for issuing his production order whilst rising above the party politics. He, however, said it is the first time that an elected leader of the opposition has been arrested without any charges against him.

The opposition leader also criticized the registration of cases against him and other PML (N) leaders prior to the elections.

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif said the allegations leveled against him that he used his political influence to award contract of Aashina Housing Scheme are groundless.

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Taking the floor of the National Assembly at the outset, he thanked the speaker for issuing his production order whilst rising above the party politics. He, however, said it is the first time that an elected leader of the opposition has been arrested without any charges against him.

In his speech, the opposition leader shared details of the investigation carried out by the NAB officials from him.

Responding to points of Shahbaz Sharif, Law Minister Farogh Naseem said that National Accountability Bureau is an independent institution and the government is not interfering in its matters.

He said section 24 of NAB Ordinance gives blanket powers to the Accountability Bureau to arrest any person during inquiry and investigation. He said the NAB exercised its power under this section to arrest Shahbaz Sharif.

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The Law Minister said the lower House is not a court of law and it cannot declare the proceedings of NAB lawful or unlawful.

Speaking in the National Assembly today on the points raised earlier by Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has said the government is ready to sit with the opposition parties to bring improvement in the NAB laws and the Accountability process. He said we will welcome the opposition parties’ suggestions in this regard. He said we want to bring more transparency.

Fawad Chaudhry however, clarified that none of the cases registered against the Opposition Leader were initiated by the PTI government. He reminded that all the appointments in the NAB including that of its Chairman were made by previous government and Pakistan Peoples Party.

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The Information Minister said that the PTI government has set healthy democratic traditions and it is the first in the history that production order of an elected person on remand were issued.

Taking the floor, PPP leader Khurshid Shah said the parliament is mother of all institutions and it can form committees to investigate important matters. He supported the demand of opposition leader Shahbaz Sharif for formation of committee to investigate the allegations levelled against him.Khursheed Shah Assures Shehbaz Of His Full SupportEarlier today, PPP Leader, Syed Khursheed Shah on Wednesday assured Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif to fully support in today’s NA Session.

Khursheed Shah met Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif in his chamber, where former speaker NA, Ayaz Sadiq was also present.

On the occasion, Khursheed Shah assured Shehbaz Sharif his full support.

Assembly administration not allowed Shehbaz Sharif to chair parliamentary party meeting of PML-N, he was barred from going to committee room from his chamber.

PML-N President met the party and PPP leaders in his chamber.

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Earlier, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders on Wednesday attended parliamentary party meeting while wearing black ribbons to protest against the arrest of Opposition Leader in National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif.

During the meeting, PML-N leaders said that Shehbaz Sharif has not committed any corruption and that he always served

the nation. The participants also chalked out the strategy for the special session of the National Assembly (NA).

Earlier, a two-member team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) escorted Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif to the Parliament House.

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Earlier, Speaker NA, Asad Qaiser summoned the session of the assembly on October 17, while PML-N submitted requisition to call National assembly’s session immediately soon after the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif.

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Speaker Asad Qaiser had issued production orders for the former Punjab chief minister to attend the joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday (today).

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Earlier on October 11, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), accompanied by parliamentarians from other opposition parties held a “mock National Assembly session” outside the Parliament House to protest the arrest of Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif.

The mock session has approved seven resolutions condemning NAB action and arrest of opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif.

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The resolutions termed the allegations on Shehbaz Sharif baseless and act of revenge, condemned NAB for causing the loss of Rs 2800 billion to the national exchequer, making CPEC controversial and accepting of IMF hard conditions for the loan.

Chanting “shame, shame”, members of the alliance led by former National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq gathered outside the Parliament House and protested the arrest of the younger Sharif brother and the National Assembly’s failure to summon a session on the matter. PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah, addressing the protest, said there were no corruption allegations against Shehbaz Sharif. “Yet still, he was arrested but Babar Awan, [who is involved in corruption] and the biggest dacoit in Punjab Pervez Elahi have not been arrested,” he lamented.

If political victimisation is not ended, we will take the protest beyond the Parliament, Sanaullah warned.

Another PML-N leader Asif Kirmani claimed that the opponents were scared about by-elections and therefore, Shehbaz Sharif was arrested.

Members of opposition parties gathered in great numbers outside Parliament House, with some of them holding placards with anti-government slogans written on them. Former NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq chaired the mock session, in which a ‘call to attention’ notice was also presented regarding the arrest of Shahbaz Sharif.Earlier , the PML-N had demanded that Shahbaz Sharif, who is currently in the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) custody, should be brought to parliament so he can present his case before the people of the country.

Sharif has been arrested on the charge that he tried to influence the transfer of a contract for the Ashiana Housing Scheme from one contractor to another.

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