–Fawad, Marriyum, Khokhar participate in first round of talks between govt, opposition
–PML-N leaders warn govt against imposing curbs on Shehbaz Sharif
–Fawad blames Opp for ‘not respecting PM’ when he comes to parliament
ISLAMABAD: While the opposition and government engaged in yet another verbal spat in the National Assembly on Friday, delegations of the two entities met in Islamabad to hold their first round of contacts to discuss the drafts of various bills which are to be presented in the parliament.
The lower house went noisy when Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif warned that the opposition members would not let Prime Minister Imran Khan enter parliament if the government restrains National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif from attending the sessions.
Asif was responding to PM’s Special Assistant Naeemul Haque’s tweets in which he had condemned the “pathetic behavior” of Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif during Finance Minister Asad Umar’s budget speech in the National Assembly and called him “the illegitimate child of Zia’s martial law”.
“Pathetic behaviour by Shehbaz Sharif, the illegitimate child of Zia’s martial law and his corrupt chamchas [sycophants] in the NA. The violation by the opposition of the agreement reached before the presentation of the finance bill by Asad is condemnable,” Naeemul Haque had tweeted.
“If Shehbaz wants to come to NA to abuse the PM and encourage his chamchas to do the same then he should know that the production order is not meant for this. He must make a commitment to abide by the decisions of the ethics committee and the rules of business,” Haque tweeted Wednesday.
“Shehbaz better decide if he wants to play a positive role in NA and instruct his chamchas to behave,” he said in a subsequent tweet.
“How dare he and his chamchas make personal attacks on PM in the NA? Does he want to spend more time in jail sulking? Does he want his production ordered to be revoked? Last chance.”
FIRST FORMAL CONTACT:
First formal contact was held between government and opposition parties to discuss proposals of various bills since the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came into power after the July 25 elections.
According to reports, the two delegations met in Islamabad to discuss issues of mutual concern.
Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry and Senate Leader of the House Shibli Faraz met a delegation of the opposition parties comprising Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb and Musadik Malik, and Pakistan People’s Party’s Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar.
During the meeting, the government and opposition lawmakers discussed drafts of various bills which will soon be presented in the National Assembly for approval.
It was decided that the government and opposition will meet during next week to further discuss these bills, reports said.
WAR OF WORDS:
During a joint media conference with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Marriyum Aurangzeb and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Khawaja Asif asserted that his party wanted to bring the issue of Haque’s threats in the House but they were not allowed to do so by the speaker.
Moreover, Khawaja Asif said that Haque was speaking the “language of Prime Minister Imran Khan” for there seemed to be a race in the use of abusive language in the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Stating that “governments come and go, but matters in the parliament shouldn’t be disrupted”, he claimed that if the government wanted to create a toxic environment in the House then they were ready to retaliate, but the responsibility would solely fall on the government’s shoulders.
Further, he alleged that the government “does not even respect the Speaker’s office as reflected in Haque’s tweets”. Moreover, he said that these people have done that in the past, but now that they are in the government, if they continue to behave in this manner then the House will soon be rendered useless.
FAWAD PINS BLAME ON OPPOSITION:
Soon after Asif’s media talk, Fawad told media that he “couldn’t understand the opposition’s behavior. For they accuse the prime minister of not appearing in the House, but when he does, they start causing a ruckus”.
He alleged that opposition parties abuse the prime minister and then claim that the government is disrupting parliamentary proceedings. They need to learn to respect the office of the prime minister first, he stated.
Further, he recalled that the PTI government was initially against giving Shehbaz the chairmanship of PAC, but “Pervez Khattak and Shah Mahmood Qureshi wanted to be generous by giving him the office so we conceded”.
Drawing attention to Shehbaz’s legal prosecution, he said that the PML-N president “seems to be receiving protocol even ministers don’t dream of for there are Rangers, police, and ambulances outside for him”.