Tuesday April 23, 2024

PML-N rejects virtual session of NA

By Muhammad Anis
April 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz while rejecting the proposal of holding a virtual session of the National Assembly, on Tuesday called such efforts as undemocratic and violation of the Constitution.

Addressing a news conference here, senior PML-N leaders said that at a time when the government is opening the whole the country, there is no reason for not convening regular National Assembly session.

"It is a conspiracy to violate the Constitution and usurp rights of the people of Pakistan, their representatives and the democratic institutions of the country," they said.

The PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal,Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Mushahidullah, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khurram Dastagir Khan termed this act of shutting down the Parliament unconstitutional and undemocratic. They said the government’s desperate attempt to keep the Parliament shut has been exposed by the fact that it is opening up the entire country’s activities, while it was keeping the House closed. They said people have the right to know the performance of their representatives. They said they need to know if the steps taken by this government in the fight against the new coronavirus were dictated by public interest or political interest of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). They said it is the duty of the government to ensure a session with physical presence in the session of the National Assembly and the Senate. They said the government intends to get away with another disastrous budget without any accountability and criticism through such virtual session as well. They said unconstitutional traditions won’t be allowed to gain ground in the country. The PML-N leaders said the National Assembly hall has a capacity of 450 people and 800 if ground floor galleries are included. They pointed out that the average attendance is 200 and with all precautionary measures and safe distance protocols the session can easily be held. They said the government won’t be allowed to rob the people off their constitutional rights on the pretext of COVID-19.

The party leaders said it is in consultation with other political parties for this purpose and soon a joint stance on this will be issued. They rebutted the example of international organisations’ meetings saying they were in different countries and couldn’t travel due to restrictions, but within the same country, this does not apply.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said the benefits of the massive drop of oil prices in the global markets must be transferred to the common man which will provide relief and help reduce inflation. He proposed that patrol prices should be brought down to Rs50 per litre, while tariffs of electricity and gas if not halved, should be at least reduced by one-third.

Shahid Khaqan said they did not trust the NAB or FIA because they are not focusing on the main issue. He said the mill owners only benefitted from the corrupt self-serving policies made by the PTI government, therefore, throwing them under the bus is only a diversion, the argued.

The PML-N leaders said the main issue was the organised corruption by the government, which the committee is conveniently overlooking. They demanded that chief suspects of the case should be made the focus which include Imran Khan, who he alleged, is the true culprit and facilitator of this corruption, Asad Umar, who chaired the ECC meeting, and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, who gave subsidies to his blue-eyed and later helped sell the stock in local market on pretext of export to Afghanistan.

The PML-N leaders said it has decided to appear before the investigation committee to expose all these facts. They said the NAB Ordinance amendment introduced by the government is about to run its scheduled time. They called on the government to make an all inclusive effort to amend the “draconian NAB law designed for persecution”.

The PML-N leaders also slammed what they called the illegal detention of Hamza Shahbaz Sharif and Ahad Cheema and demanded their immediate release.

They also strongly condemned the NAB’s repeated call-up notices to party President Shahbaz Sharif. They said Shahbaz has not only served detention under the NAB but has provided all documents and answers needed, therefore, there is no need or justification for such acts of political victimisation and harassment.