Islamabad (October 11, 2018): The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), accompanied by parliamentarians from other opposition parties, on Thursday 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.
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 this week, 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.
On Wednesday, NA Speaker Asad Qaiser issued directives to convene the session requested by opposition parties on October 17. Additionally, the NA Secretariat also issued production orders to ensure the presence of Shahbaz Sharif for that session.
The opposition parties, however, were adamant they would protest outside Parliament House, saying the NA Speaker had not accepted their demand for an NA session this week.
While addressing the mock session, PML-N Senator Mushahid Hussain said that Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz were put behind bars ahead of the general elections and now they have arrested Shahbaz Sharif ahead of the by-polls.