Shehbaz to continue his speech on budget for 3rd consecutive day

June 16, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif will resume his budget speech on Wednesday upon commencing of the sitting in the afternoon.In this way, he will be setting a...

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ISLAMABAD: Opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif will resume his budget speech on Wednesday (today) upon commencing of the sitting in the afternoon.

In this way, he will be setting a record by speaking on the budget for the third consecutive day. The previous record is held by former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who spoke as an opening speaker for four hours during the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government, then being the opposition leader. Parliamentary sources told The News on Tuesday that Shehbaz Sharif, who started his speech on budget on Monday, spoke with fair amount of confidence despite the rumpus, created by the government members. It was also a unique occasion that the treasury created chaos in the house. Shehbaz, who spoke for about two hours on Tuesday, is likely to present alternative budget at the end of his speech. The alternative budget proposals have been prepared by a team of experts under former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Former federal ministers Ahsan Iqbal, Khurram Dastgir Khan and Miftah Ismail are part of the team that prepared the document.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Maulana Asad Mahmood of the JUI-F would deliver their budget speeches after Shehbaz Sharif completes his address. The ruling party, which is creating hurdles in the speech of Shehbaz Sharif, would continue doing so under the advice of its leadership. Sources said that the environment which prevailed in the National Assembly on Tuesday, if continues, it would not be possible for the leader of the house, Prime Minister Imran Khan, to come in the House and deliver his address. The government wanted a swap with the opposition that if it assures the ruling party of smooth delivery of the prime minister’s speech, the government party would not create any noise during the address of the opposition leader. However, the opposition declined to agree to any such deal, the sources said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the NA nearly came to blows when Shehbaz Sharif’s speech was met with loud jeers, slogans and whistles from the treasury members. During the speech, the opposition members formed a protective shield around the leader of the opposition while the PTI MNAs surrounded them.

Shehbaz Sharif criticised the budget, saying that it had failed to provide relief to masses amid spiralling unemployment and inflation.

The repeated calls for calm fell on deaf ears of the treasury and Shehbaz wore headphones to avoid the noise and continued his speech. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) Ali Nawaz Awan responded in kind to the abusive language by a PMLN lawmaker. A woman lawmaker tried to pull the PTI MNA away from the group of legislators, who were shoving each other. He was throwing a hefty booklet at the PMLN leader and shouting angrily at him.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry were also standing by their seats. Another minister, Ali Amin Gandapur, kept exchanging words with opposition lawmakers. Members of the opposition, along with the PMLN president, thumped their desks as PMLN leader Mian Javed Latif attended the session for the first time after securing bail.

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