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PA echoes with anti-Nawaz slogans

By Moayyed Jafri
May 15, 2018

LAHORE: Punjab Minister for Finance Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha delivered the Supplementary Budget 2018 for the province as the house echoed with the slogans against Nawaz Sharif.

The session, scheduled to start at 3pm, started over two hours late. Right after the recitation of Holy Quran and Naat, Opposition Leader Mahmood-ur-Rasheed requested to raise a ‘Point of Order’. Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal told him that he would be entertained. However, the speaker gave the floor to Finance Minister Ayesha Ghaus.

The Opposition Leader continued regardless, which forced the speaker to allow him to speak and the Finance Minister held back her speech. Mahmood-ur-Rasheed demanded that a unanimous resolution should be passed by the assembly condemning the allegedly treasonous statement by the PML-N Quaid, Nawaz Sharif.

The house and the speaker denied that request and Dr Ayesha started her budget speech amidst a cacophony of opposition slogans. They started chanting anti-Nawaz slogans. The treasury benches responded by chanting slogans.

That is when commenced the all too familiar practice of traditional raucous that has become an essential part of every budget session in the republic; be it provincial or federal. PTI MPA led the opposition members to the space in front of the speaker’s chair and started tearing up the supplementary budget and making it rain over the treasury benches with the shredded pieces. The shout-off between the opposition and the treasury continued through the entire course of the supplementary budget speech.

The opposition members were, however, not satiated with the raucous created inside the house so they followed Punjab Minister for Finance Ayesha Ghaus outside, gathered at the stairs and started chanting the same slogans aloud, in a bid to sabotage media talk of the Finance Minister.

Before the starting of the session, the Punjab Parliamentarians, government and opposition alike, remained busy answering media questions regarding the repercussions of Nawaz’s controversial statement. However, when asked about the performance of the assembly over the past five years, both government and opposition members agreed that there was room for improvement.