The second joint session of Parliament began on Wednesday in the presence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
On the first day, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan slammed violent anti-government protests by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) as ” mutiny against the state”.
Parliament’s emergency session was called after three days of clashes between police and PA and PTI demonstrators demanding Sharif’s resignation, leaving three peole dead and around 500 injured.
ANP leader Zahid Khan speaks
Senior leader of Awami National Party (ANP) Zahid Khan opened the session.
Khan urged that the PM should not resign as it would be an insult to the Constitution of Pakistan.
“We are supporting the government to uphold the supremacy of the constitution.We urge you (the PM) not to resign,” he said.
Khan said that all political parties had collaborated to pass the 18th Amendment hat guarantees rights for smaller provinces but, he claimed, that the establishment has not accepted it.
“A conspiracy is underway against the 18th Amendment”, he said.
He went on to say that the sit-in ‘drama’ has been going on for 16 to 18 days and the media gave them airtime and showed no care for the internally displaced persons (IDPs)
“We have 800k IDPs. There are no medicines in the hospitals.”
“Please pay heed to their miseries, don’t ignore them because they’re not from Punjab”, he said.
PTI MNAs arrive in session
As Khan spoke, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) parliamentarians arrived in the session.
PML-N members hooted and raised slogans ‘shame, shame’ against the PTI MNAs.
Speaker Assembly Ayaz Sadiq intervened to restore order and asking PML-N members to stop hooting.
” This is not D-chowk,” he said.
PTI is attending the session on directives of Imran Khan to explain its position with regard to its protest outside the parliament.
ANP leader continues
ANP leader Zahid Khan continued with his speech.
He said that the Parliament stands with the PM but, he warned, he should not let it come to a point where the Parliament has to stand against him.
“Although we are with democracy, it’s you who is benefiting, Mr. PM. We want you to respect the parliamentarians,” he said.
He paid respect to veteran politician Javed Hashmi for making a stand and resigning from the assembly.
He went on to question that why was Imran Khan not being held accountable for the acts that if, as stated yesterday by MQM leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, had been committed by MQM, they would have been tried for treason.
“Is it because he is from Punjab?,” he said.
He continued saying that it was ANP which ensured that Pakistan’s flag keeps flying in Swat against the Taliban.
He urged that those who are using the name of Army should be shut up, adding that a crowd of a few thousand will not be allowed to oust a democratic government.
NP’s Bizenjo’s stance
Senator Hasil Bizenjo of the National Party followed ANP leader.
He criticized the long march by PTI and PAT.
“ I have been part of marches and sit-ins all my life but I have not seen such a long march before in which the protesters enjoy breakfasts, lunch and dinner”, he said.
“They think they are Mao,” he said.
He questioned how a group of 500 workers of PML-N dared to attack a supposedly million march of PTI in Gujranwala, adding that the PTI and PAT leaders used abusive language against the political parties who were facilitating their protest and humiliated them.
“All political parties are standing together and will not allow anyone to harm what we hold sacred,” he asserted.
He added that the Model Town tragedy was condemned by all but attacking the parliament in the name of the tragedy is not fair.
He asked PTI leaders to show flexibility and end the deadlock through talks.
“Wait for the elections, if you win, the parliament will be yours”, he said.
He strongly condemned the protesters for digging graves.
“Do you want to make this Parliament a graveyard? If that’s what you want, we will bury your politics right here in this very house,” he said.
He said that the protests have lead the Chinese president to reconsider his visit to Pakistan.
He further said that political ethics is the first lesson to follow in politics, one should not attack opponents on personal levels.
Sherpao backs govt, criticises PTI
Qaumi Watan Party’s Aftab Khan Sherpao addressed the session.
He commended the PTI lawmakers for coming to the session sans a ‘telephone call from someone.’
Mentioning to play a role of the opposition, Sherpao asserted that the current crisis will only be resolved through the Parliament.
He lamented the lack of concern for North Waziristan IDPs by the protesting parties, stating that none of them even once addressed the issues.
” Khyber Pakhtunkhwa CM Khattak and all his ministers came here with protocol and are now attacking Parliament,” he said.
He claimed that Imran Khan and Qadri’s supporters were left to be around 2,000 to 3,000 last night.
He condemned the storming of PTV building, questioning the motive behind the attack.
“What message were they attempting to send? Eroding state power to show the international world that the Parliament has been attack and PM’s government has come to an end.”
“But the Parliamant stands and PM Nawaz is seated in his chair and will continue to do so for the next four years,” said the QWP leader.
He condemned the protesting parties for showing a lack of trust on Supreme Court judges to head a judicial commission claiming that the PM could influence them.
“What impression are these parties trying to give?”, he asked.
He stated that the protestors were not adopting the democratic way and that the Parliament should stand united against them as it has been bestowed this duty by the nation.
“You can forget about the prime minister’s resignation, no prime minister will tender his resignation in this manner,” he said referring to the PTI and PAT.
He demanded that if Imran Khan had evidence against election rigging he should produce it instead of thunderous claims only.
He condemned the thrashing of SSP at the hands of protestors, adding that PTI attacks lawyers and journalists claiming that they have been bought and have no moral just because they speak against PTI.
He urged the speaker to approve the resignation of PTI MNAs and added that they should only be allowed to speak at the floor of assembly if they take back their words of calling the parliament ‘bogus,’ condemn the attacks on police and PTV and guarantee to vacate the Pakistan Secretariat.
PTI Qureshi defends protest amid booing lawmakers in Parliament
Member National Assembly and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi addressed the joint Parliament session.
He said that the country stands at a crossroads and it can either be weaken or strengthened by us. He said that while there are some elements seeking to add fuel to fire, others want to resolve the issues.
He said that the Parliament is just as respectable to him as it is to others and he is here to represent his party and its stance.
At the end of his speech, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq asked Qureshi to come to his chamber to discuss the resignations submitted by PTI.
PTI lawmakers left the House.
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Achakzai wants PTI to sign a resolution
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai followed the speech of Qureshi.
He stated that no talks should be held with PTI chairman Imran Khan until the PTI signs a resolution saying that attack on Parliament, PTV, Secretariat are violations of Constitution and agrees to vacate the Red Zone.
ANP’s Bangash’s speech
ANP lawmaker Abdul Nabi Bangash took the floor next while PM Nawaz Sharif who had left during Qureshi’s speech came back to the session.
Bangash said that the speaker should have asked Qureshi if he takes back his resignation and then should have allowed him to speak on the floor of NA.
He said that it was made evident last evening that Imran and Qadri were the two sides of the same coin.
He said that he does not agree with the style of government.
“PM Nawaz is not the PM of PML-N but of the country,” he said.
He demanded the government to explain invoking of article 245 and why no one was arrested for storming the PTV building.
JI’s Sahibzada Tariqullah speaks
Tariqullah termed the protestors as violators of the constitution.
He urged the PM not to resign as the Parliament stands united with him.
Fazl questions PTI’s speech
JUI-F leader spoke next and questioned if PTI’s Qureshi had the right to speak at NA.
Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said that the resignation had still not be approved and hence PTI members could attend the NA.
Shah backs letting Qureshi speak
Opposition Leader Khurshid Shah followed Fazl and termed letting Qureshi to address the NA as the right decision.
Mr. Speaker, the decision you took today to let Shah Mehmood Qureshi speak was according to the Constitution and democracy,” he said.
Addressing Fazl, Shah said that if yesterday he welcomed Javed Hashmi then we should do the same today and not have double standards.
He further said that the PTI has said that it was not behind the actions against the Parliament and that PAT was responsible for storming the buildings.
“This has made the cracks between the two parties evident”, he said, terming it the victory of the House.
“Qadri does not accept the constitution. PAT is not a political party,” he claimed.
Shah thanked PM Sharif for calling the joint session of Parliament on his advice.