–Speaker forms committee to probe allegations of vandalism against banned MPAs
–Hamza Shehbaz labels suspension of PML-N lawmakers an ‘illegal act’
LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday announced that its newly elected lawmakers from Punjab would not take oath of their provincial assembly seats and the party would not attend Punjab Assembly (PA) proceedings until six of its suspended MPAs were permitted to participate.
During the PA budget session on October 16, Speaker Pervaiz Elahi had issued show-cause notices to half a dozen PML-N lawmakers for allegedly attacking the assembly staff, vandalising furniture and making derogatory remarks about the government, and had barred them from entering the house during the ongoing budget sessions.
The suspended PML-N parliamentarians include Malik Muhammad Waheed (PP-156), Muhammad Ashraf Rasool (PP-137), Muhammad Mirza Javed (PP-172), Tariq Masih Gill (NM-371), Zaibunnisa Awam and Muhammad Yasin Amir (PP-162).
Reacting to the ban, PA Leader of the Opposition Hamza Shehbaz had warned that his party would boycott the assembly if the suspension of its provincial lawmakers was not lifted.
On Monday, former provincial minister and PML-N MPA Khawaja Imran Nazir said that the party had decided to follow through with its promise, adding that the MPAs who had won their seats in the recently held by-elections would not take their oaths in protest.
“We will [also] not go to the parliament until our six suspended MPAs are reinstated,” he said as the party continued to boycott the proceedings and protest outside the assembly building.
Following the PML-N’s announcement, PA Speaker Elahi said that a six-member committee to investigate the allegation of vandalism against the MPAs will be formed.
“The investigation committee will analyse the video of the incident and then take further action,” he said, adding that “things will move forward when opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz attends the house committee”.
Elahi, however, made it clear that the house’s proceedings will take place as per the law and constitution “whether anyone comes or not”.
‘MPAs’ SUSPENSION ILLEGAL’:
Later on, Hamza, who protested outside the parliament with his party leaders, labeled the suspension of PML-N MPAs an “illegal act”.
He accused the speaker of “bias conduct” and said the house committee would be acceptable to him only if it has equal representation from the treasury and opposition benches.
Hamza once again said that Elahi was a “seasoned robber” and claimed, “A fake video, framing six candidates, was spread to misalign PML-N.”
“The speaker’s role is to take the opposition on board as well. We will stage a massive protest and boycott Punjab Assembly if the speaker’s partial behavior did not change and our members are not allowed back into the house,” Hamza warned.
“He [Elahi] has voluntarily become the spokesperson of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). In the past, Elahi accepted Pervez Musharraf as his leader and not he has switched loyalties to accept Imran Khan.”