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Sunday April 21, 2024

Imran continues to stay away from NA

IslamabadFor more than a year, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has attended the House proceedings hardly twice, thus figuring among the MPs who have extremely low attendance record. Even when he was a lone PTI MP in the 2002 NA, he did not have any good record of being

By Tariq Butt
August 16, 2015
Islamabad
For more than a year, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has attended the House proceedings hardly twice, thus figuring among the MPs who have extremely low attendance record.
Even when he was a lone PTI MP in the 2002 NA, he did not have any good record of being present in its proceedings and making any valuable contributions. Senior PTI leader Naeemul Haq has stated that Imran will not participate in the parliamentary proceedings till the decision of the election tribunal on his petition in which he has challenged his defeat and victory of Sardar Ayaz Sadiq in NA-122 Lahore in the 2013 parliamentary polls.
The PTI lawmakers led by their senior comrade Shah Mehmood Qureshi are continuously taking part in the National Assembly sessions although they are yet to make their presence felt. Qureshi has been in charge of them even when the PTI was faced with a very hostile environment on the floor.
Since the entire National Assembly is bitterly opposed to the PTI for its policies that it pursued during its sit-in, Imran Khan and his other colleagues always find an aggressive atmosphere on the floor where they are forced to show tremendous restraint and control while they feel free to say whatever they like elsewhere.
For months, Imran Khan insisted that the PTI will partake in the parliamentary proceedings only after a judicial commission will be formed to inquire into his charges of rigging in the 2013 general elections.
He lived up to his commitment and spearheaded his party to the House after the forum was constituted. However, before going inside, the PTI chief repeated outside the parliament building that the assembly was fake and the result of the rigged elections. This provoked Defence Minister Khawaja M Asif to subject PTI lawmakers to severe tirade, which continues to reverberate in the political arena even now because of its incisiveness.
However, the PTI legislators are still showing up in the National Assembly but Imran Khan has never surfaced there after that encounter, which had taken them by surprise. At another point, the PTI chairman said he would start participating in the assembly sittings only after the judicial commission will conclude and release its findings. This happened when the commission rejected his entire poll rigging allegations, but he prefers to be away from the House.
However, the PTI attended the joint parliamentary session when a resolution was passed highlighting Pakistan’s stand on the Yemen crisis, refusing to send troops and aircraft to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in connection with the Yemen crisis.
Even when the amendments in the Constitution and the Pakistan Army Act were unanimously approved by the National Assembly to pave the way for trial of the civilian terrorists by the military courts, the PTI did not attend the National Assembly although it supported these changes.
Not only during the sit-in but even when the judicial commission was holding hearings and when it released its findings, the PTI consistently claimed that it and not the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was the real opposition. However, Imran Khan and his party are yet to prove in the National Assembly that they are the actual opposition. They will assume greater importance and weight only when the PTI chief will lead his lawmakers on the floor and speak on national issues, taking on the government.