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November 2, 2018

Opposition terms Imran’s address ‘aggressive’

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November 2, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The opposition parties in the National Assembly on Thursday termed address of the Prime Minister Imran Khan to the nation in the wake of Supreme Court’s verdict acquitting Aasia Bibi aggressive, demanding him to give a policy statement on the floor of the House.

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, senior PPP leader Syed Khrusheed Shah said the Prime Minister Imran Khan used aggressive tone in his speech and gave a message to the world as to what this country’s people think about their institutions.

Prior to start of the National Assembly proceedings which was delayed by over an hour on Thursday, Syed Khursheed Shah met Opposition Leader Shahbaz Sharif in his chamber to discuss the situation arising out of Supreme Court’s decision and prime minister’s speech. “I will speak in the National Assembly what we discussed here,” Khursheed Shah told newsmen while coming out of opposition leader’s chamber.

“We are with our state institutions but I condemn the speech of the prime minister which was aggressive and it seemed soon he would come out of the screen to fight,” he said while speaking on floor of the House.

The PPP leader also questioned as to why the prime minister was running away from the Parliament when the country is facing unrest and as to why he is not taking the Parliament into confidence. The "Prime Minister Imran Khan should have been here today. The roads are blocked. People are restricted to their homes,” he said. "We are worried about the state of affairs as we feel that anarchy will spread,” he said.

The PML-N leader Saad Rafique voicing his party’s concerns said a ruler's attitude should not be aggressive and the prime minister should have taken the House into confidence over the matter "The same religion card that you used against the last government in the past, is now being used against you," Saad Rafique said while addressing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government. You used to talk of lockdowns and blocking roads. Now it's being said that blocking the roads is not in the interests of the nation," the PML-N leader remarked. Saad Rafique said the comments and threats against the national institutions is unacceptable, and he did not want to gain any political advantage at the expense of the situation. He observed that decision of the Supreme Court might be correct while the high court and trial court had also given verdicts and in the process former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was assassinated.

“Some questions on the justice system may also be raised,” he said. Criticizing the policies of the government, the PML-N leader recalled the `prime minister in his maiden speech on floor of the National Assembly had invited the opposition for confrontation and offered them container.

“Neither do we want to do any politics on such issues nor do we want any confrontation with the government so the democratic system is not weakened,” he said.

Terming the body language of the prime minister aggressive, Khawaja Saad Rafique said the use of force should be stopped. At the same, he said the remarks given by a person for state institutions are not acceptable but there should not be any use of force,” he said adding there is ban on media while roads are blocked and the people are facing problems. He observed that nobody agrees to the narrative of those agitating today but as it is sensitive issue, the government needs to handle the current situation carefully.

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