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April 23, 2019

Ruckus in NA: Firing of ministers not to hide incompetency, says Bilawal

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April 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Parliamentarians from the opposition and treasury benches came face to face in the National Assembly (NA) on Monday once the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari unleashed strong criticism on the incumbent government, calling the prime minister as selected one, incompetent and incapable.

“The selected prime minister who is incompetent and incapable is the one who should go,” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, while referring to reshuffle in the Federal Cabinet with particular reference to resignation of the Finance Minister Asad Umar whom he also called incompetent and illiterate. The remarks from the PPP top leader invited strong protest from treasury benches who rose in their seats and agitated against words used by him for the prime minister while House echoed with slogan of ‘Go Niazi Go’ from the opposition members.

The PPP members approached the treasury benches and came close to ministers and members sitting in the front row. Both sides were involved in harsh remarks and sloganeering as Bilawal Bhutto also continued his speech. “The prime minister will not be allowed to enter the National Assembly house if I am not allowed speak here,” Bilawal said.

He also observed that the prime minister would not be able to hide his incompetency by removing ministers. “It is the selected prime minister who should go home,” he said. Bilawal also accused the speaker of following double standards when he expunged some of his remarks. “I expunge the word selected as the prime minister has been elected by this House,” the speaker said.

On that, Bilawal questioned the speaker did he also expunge the remarks of Asad Qaisar about him (Bilawal) during the joint session calling him as anti-Pakistan. “I never called you anti-Pakistan that you have expunged the words,” he protested.

Bilawal Bhutto used hard-hitting remarks for Asad Umar, saying that he had already stated that the former finance minister was incompetent and he had links with terrorist outfits with support of whom he won the general elections. He recalled that he had advised the government to sack ministers having links with banned organisations if it was serious in taking action against terrorist outfits.

He questioned as to why the finance minister was shown the door. “Have you admitted that he is incompetent and had links with banned organisations,” he said ridiculing the change, saying government replaced Asad Umar with finance minister of President Zardari.

“In one sight, it looks cabinet of Musharraf and with second, they look like ministers of PPP government,” he said. Bilawal said that the PPP was not scared of dictators like Ayub and Musharraf, and would remain steadfast against the puppet government.

He regretted that following his speech during the joint sitting of two houses when he spoke against the Indian prime minister calling him butcher of Kashmir, one of ministers dubbed him as anti-Pakistan. “This is not a new allegation as in the past Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and Fatima Jinnah also faced such allegations,” he said, adding that the minister spoke against him when he was not present in the hall. Bilawal said it would not be possible for the minister to silence the opposition with use of abusive language.

Bilawal also questioned as to why Fawad Chaudhry and Shehryar Afridi were also removed from the Federal Cabinet. “A person who was involved in the murder of Daniel Pearl has been elevated to position of the interior minister,” he said. In the meanwhile, the Speaker Asad Qaisar suspended the proceedings for a few minutes.

The PPP members again gathered in front of government benches when the Minister for Power Division Omar Ayub was given the floor to respond to Bilawal Bhutto’s speech. The opposition members raised slogans and tore copies of order of the day.

Federal Minister Omar Ayub said the person having no respect for the elected prime minister could not speak in the House. “Every member of this House including the prime minister is elected by his voters,” he said.

Omar Ayub said the PPP leader was criticising Ayub Khan whereas the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto used to call him as ‘Daddy’. The situation forced the chair to adjourned the proceedings till Tuesday evening without taking up agenda of the day.

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