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Chaos in Pakistan Parliament; lawmakers hurl abuses

Islamabad: The Pakistan National Assembly witnessed some unruly scenes on June 15 over Imran Khan government’s budget proposals.

During the sitting of the House, members of the treasury benches created chaos on the floor and even abused other parliamentarians, according to a video of the incident. The proceedings of the lower house were adjourned by the Speaker after the incident.

The chaos broke out when Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif addressed the House.

According to the video, which is now going viral, Sharif was greeted by jeers, slogans, and whistles from the treasury members as soon as he started speaking.

“Imran Khan Niazi promised 10 million jobs. Where are those jobs?” asked Sharif. “Where are the USD 300bn that was supposed to be brought back to the country from abroad?”

Continuing to lash out at the government, he said that PM Imran Khan’s claims of eliminating corruption from Pakistan were hollow.

“Pakistan is suffering from the worst form of corruption today,” he said. “No act of posting or transferring someone these days is done without an element of corruption these days,” added Shahbaz.

He criticized the government’s budget, saying that it had failed to provide relief to the masses from unemployment and inflation, Geo News reported citing the video.

The lawmakers were then seen fighting on the floor of the House and throwing copies of the budget.

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Imran govt ‘incapable’ of running country: Pakistan SC

Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan slammed the Imran Khan-led government over its failure to convene a meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for the last two months.

The apex court’s dissatisfaction with the government came during a hearing of the local body election case, with Justice Qazi Faez Isa heading the two-member bench, according to Geo News.

Underscoring that census was a basic requirement to run the country, Justice Isa said: “Is it not the priority of the government to release the results of the census? Despite [the PTI having] government in three provinces, no decision is being taken in the council.”

“Either the government is not capable of running the country, or it is unable to make decisions,” he said.

He further asked why the CCI report had been kept confidential. “Are good deeds kept a secret? It raises questions,” he said.

The judge, asking whether the country would run in this manner, stressed the nation needs to know what the province and Centre are doing, Geo News reported.

The two-member bench also expressed anger over the promulgation of the Punjab Local Government Ordinance.

The Punjab government does not want to hold local body elections and the entire Punjab Assembly was bypassed at the request of one individual, he said.

Meanwhile, the additional attorney general (AAG) told the court that the CCI would meet on March 24. “It is a sensitive issue, and the government wants to make a decision through consensus,” he said.

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Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law arrested in Karachi

Karachi: PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that her husband and former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law, retired Captain Mohammad Safdar had been arrested from a hotel in Karachi.

“Police broke my room door at the hotel I was staying at in Karachi and arrested Capt Safdar,” said Maryam, who addressed a large anti-government rally in the port city on Oct 18.

She said she was asleep when the police “barged in” her hotel room where he was staying with her husband.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) minister Ali Zaidi, however, refuted her claim, saying “Maryam (is) once again lying that the hotel door was broken.” Safdar, who is being kept at the Aziz Bhatti police station, was arrested a day after he raised slogans at the Quaid’s (Pakistan’s founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah) mausoleum before the second rally of Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) – an alliance of 11 opposition parties.

The arrest comes after a first information report (FIR) was registered against Maryam, Safdar and 200 others for violating the sanctity of the Quaid’s mausoleum, Dawn news reported.

The complainant, Waqas Ahmed, alleged that the PML-N leaders, along with 200 of their followers, reached the Quaid’s grave where Safdar jumped over the grill surrounding it.

The complainant said that he tried to stop him from doing so but Safdar “got out of control” and started threatening him and his fellows that he would kill them, according to the report.

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‘Incapable’ Imran betrayed people of Pak: Opposition

Karachi: Tens of thousands of opposition supporters rallied in Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi as part of a campaign to oust Prime Minister Imran Khan, whom they call ‘clueless and incapable’.

The Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of 11 opposition parties formed on September 20, has launched a three-phased anti-government movement under an “action plan” to remove the Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government.

“This incapable and clueless prime minister will have to go home,” Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said at the Bagh-e-Jinnah, which was packed with people including supporters and workers of the alliance’s members.

Bilawal, in his speech, lashed out at Khan for ‘betraying’ the people of Pakistan. Taking a jibe at PM Khan and Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman said, “Bajwa Sahib, I respect you so much. But please try to avoid these foolish (Khan) friends.”

“You’ve snatched jobs from people. You have snatched two-time a day food from the people,” Maryam Nawaz, the daughter and political heir of the former three-time premier Nawaz Sharif, told the rally.

Calling Imran Khan a ‘coward’, Maryam accused him of using the armed forces for his face-saving and declaring opponents as traitors only to save his skin and hide incompetence.

Addressing the rally via video link from London, Nawaz Sharif accused army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa of rigging the 2018 elections and orchestrating his ouster in 2017, saying the corruption charges brought against him were concocted.

The rally also marked the 13th anniversary of the twin blasts in Karsaz that targeted the homecoming procession of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007. The blast left around 200 people dead and several injured.

The PDM is now scheduled to hold its third rally in Quetta on October 25, which will be followed by the fourth in Peshawar on November 22, fifth in Multan on November 30 and the last one in Lahore on December 13.

Opposition leaders have announced that they would use all political and democratic options, including no-confidence motions and mass resignations from Parliament to seek “the selected” prime minister’s resignation.

Keywords: Pakistan politics, Pakistan opposition, Imran Khan, PDM, Democracy in Pakistan, Pak army, PPP, PTI, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Nawaz Sharif

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