PML-N leaders, PTI supporters scuffle outside NA

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, who were speaking to reporters outside the National Assembly ahead of the high-staked confidence vote for Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday, came to blows with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) activists and supporters, who had gathered outside the building as a show of support.

The incident occurred as the opposition leaders–including PML-N General Secretary Ahsan Iqbal, Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb–gathered to address the press conference.

PML-N is a member of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the 11-party opposition alliance that boycotted the special National Assembly session convened for the vote.

Prime Minister Imran won the vote of confidence, securing 178 votes, against the 172 required.

At the outset of the presser, the speakers were surrounded by a charged crowd of PTI supporters, who were raising slogans in favour of the prime minister and PTI.

In their talks, the PML-N speakers condemned the government and the prime minister, declaring he [PM Imran] had lost the confidence of the public.

Abbasi said Imran did not have the power to go for a trust vote according to the Constitution, adding this power rested with the president only if he believed the premier had lost the confidence of the House.

Following the press conference, the PML-N leaders claimed they were harassed and manhandled by PTI supporters present at the site.

Video clips of the brawl making rounds on social media showed PML-N leadership angrily charging at PTI supporters and pushing them away.

Imran’s adviser on digital media claimed the PML-N leaders began the scuffle by attacking PTI supporters gathered around them, and said the media was “misreporting the facts to please PML-N”.

In a tweet, PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz lauded the politicians for “fighting back against vote thieves and thugs like lions”.

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