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April 26, 2019

Women opposition MNAs protest PM’s ‘Sahiba’ remarks

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April 26, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The women opposition parliamentarians on Thursday registered a strong protest in the National Assembly against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s remarks calling the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as ‘Sahiba’ terming the same an insult to women and position of the premier.

The women members of the National Assembly surrounded the speaker’s dais and chanted slogans after Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, who was chairingproceedings, denied a chance to them to speak on the issue. He said he would give an opportunity to opposition members to raise points of order once order of the day is completed. The House fell short of completing agenda of the day due to protest from the opposition for the fourth consecutive day and witnessed premature adjournment.

The PPP members, who were later also joined by the PML-N female parliamentarians, raised slogans and tore copies of agenda, accusing the chair of not showing respect to them. Following interference from the PML-N member Ahsan Iqbal, the chair gave the floor to PPP parliamentarian Dr Nafeesa Shah who demanded the prime minister to tender apology on floor of the House for calling her top party leader as ‘Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Sahiba’ while addressing a public meeting in Wana a day earlier.

“This is insult to position of the prime minister and women and if he does not take back his words, I will say he is not my prime minister,” she said. Dr Nafeesa Shah also warned that if the prime minister does not come to the House to apologise to the women members then slogan of ‘Go Imran Go’ will echo from here to Wana.

She regretted that whenever prime minister says something wrong, it is called as ‘slip of tongue’ questioning how many slips of tongue would come from the premier. “If such an attitude continues then claim of new Pakistan would also become slip of tongue,” she said.

The PPP lawmaker pointed out that the prime minister insulted a young political leader who belongs to a family which has been giving sacrifices for the country and democracy. The National Assembly on Thursday also passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which provides for amendment in Section 20 of the Election Act, 2017.

“For the purpose of delimiting constituencies for the general elections of the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for tribal areas, two or more separate areas may be grouped into one constituency for their elections to be held in 2019 and by-elections thereafter, this sub-section shall stand omitted,” the insertion in Section 20 said. As per 25th Amendment to the Constitution, the Election Commission of Pakistan is obliged to conduct elections on 16 general seats of tribal districts for the KP Assembly before July 25.

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