ISLAMABAD: There was a kind of face-off in the National Assembly on Wednesday as both treasury and opposition members were persistent to take the floor and deliver their hard-hitting speeches.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Opposition members stood up on their benches and raised a din. In Opposition members’ hullabaloo, Speaker Asad Qaiser allowed PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to deliver his speech.
Talking about Foreign Minister Qureshi, Bilawal said nobody knew Mr Qureshi as much as he knew him. He asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to tape Mr Qureshi’s phone calls then he would know that Mr Qureshi wanted to become prime minister.
The treasury members and ministers continued their protest during Bilawal’s speech.
Bilawal dubbed Mr Qureshi ‘seller of Kashmir’. He said Mr Qureshi contested election in the name of South Punjab but now he was silent. He could neither make a separate province of South Punjab nor could he contest the elections.
Bilawal said his own prime minister disgraced Mr Qureshi. He said that when Mr Qureshi was our foreign minister, he wanted to become prime minister in place of then PM Yousaf Raza Gilani.
Bilawal said a few days ago, some ‘monkeys’ had assaulted the opposition leader. He said he just told half of the story; he had a lot to say. He held that if the assembly ran according to law, then they would fully cooperate.
He praised the Sindh Assembly saying it was the assembly from where the Pakistan resolution was passed. Now the cartoons have made a history by bringing a cut motion in the provincial assembly.
Bilawal wants no-trust move against speaker
Talking to the media outside the National Assembly, Bilawal said that the passage of budget from the assembly was illegal as he himself stood up and objected to the voting method. He said neither the speaker paid heed to them nor did he count their votes. He said it was necessary to table a no-confidence move against the speaker. The speaker should have to pay the political price, Bilawal asserted.
The PPP chairman said it was the right of every parliamentarian to express his views in the assembly. He was of the view that FATF laws were passed in a crooked way. He said he could not bear attack on the opposition leader. “I wonder how could the PML-N people bear this,” he added. He vowed to make government humane.
He said people of Pakistan would never forgive Imran Khan for pushing them in extreme historic poverty.
He lamented that during the passage of budget, there should be a full strength of the opposition members. He said he would complain to Opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif on this matter.
Bilawal vowed he will not let Prime Minister Imran Khan make a speech in the National Assembly. Bilawal Bhutto said “I am here. Let him come. I will not let him make a speech.”
Earlier, Bilawal lamented that National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser eschewed voting for the final approval of the budget after he objected to the verbal voting, terming the financial bill a cause of economic ruin.
Speaking on the floor of National Assembly before the budget speech of Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday, Bilawal rued that the speaker did not let them speak yesterday. He said that Amir Dogar deserved praise for managing to complete 172 votes necessary for the approval of the budget.
Bilawal was of the view had the government not indulged in rigging, Prime Minister Imran Khan would not have obtained 172 votes to get the budget sailed through the assembly. He accused the speaker of snatching their right.
He said that he requested the speaker to seal the lobby, but the latter spurned his plea. He maintained that the ruling party people kept looking for their voters. He held that if there was objection over the verbal voting, then it was binding on the speaker to hold voting for the second time.
Bilawal reminded the speaker that he himself had challenged the speaker’s vote at the last time. He regretted that voting was not conducted for the final approval of the finance bill. “I requested you to hold voting again but you left the assembly,” Bilawal complained to Qaiser.
He said PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari sat in the assembly till the end but no second final voting was done. “Even one of our party members whose relative died yesterday, attended the assembly session,” Bilawal added.
Calling Bilawal Bhutto a child, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday said former president Asif Ali Zardari’s son would take some time to learn.
Speaking at the National Assembly (NA), he said he knew Bilawal from his childhood days. “Bilawal is briefed by PPP seniors prior to his speech or a media talk, Qureshi said, and added, “Sometimes, the party leaders switch his button on and sometimes off.”
The foreign minister threatened that if Prime Minister Imran Khan was not listened to by members of the opposition in future, he would neither allow Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif nor Bilawal to speak.
He further said the nation was very much aware how much budget deficit the previous governments had left for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government.
Qureshi said he saluted NA Speaker Asad Qaiser for his patience.
The foreign minister wondered as to what type of parliamentary tradition was that the opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif left the House during the budget session.
Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan assail NA speaker for biasness
PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal alleged that National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser is biased and there is a need to run the house business as per the rules and regulations.
Khaqani said that government ministers were thumping the desks and wanted to target the Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif. Abbasi said that a Prime Minister who could not talk to India looking eye to eye then how would he talk to the opposition.
“The government ministers kept on attacking Shehbaz Sharif for three days but the NA Speaker did not do anything to prevent such attacks,” he added. Abbasi said that if the opposition leader could not speak in the parliament then the Prime Minister would also not be allowed to speak.
Former planning minister Ahsan Iqbal said those who alleged PML-N of friendly opposition first look in their own ranks and this allegation is childish.
He explained in the Lower House of the parliament that Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif did not attend the budget session because he had to go back to Lahore due to the death of his cousin. “If a politician cannot go for condolences then we must end this politics,” Ahsan Iqbal said.
He alleged that the incumbent government has destroyed all institutions putting a full stop on the development projects.
Ahsan Iqbal said that the PTI government even destroyed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and even stopped the scholarships. He claimed that whenever there would be elections, the people of Pakistan would be punishing the PTI for its performance.