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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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Pakistan courts nail oppn leaders Sharif, Zardari

Lahore: Pakistan’s Leader of the Opposition and PML-N chief Shahbaz Sharif was arrested in Lahore while an anti-corruption court in Islamabad indicted former president Asif Ali Zardari in a money laundering case, days before joint Opposition’s planned protests to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Shahbaz, the younger brother of three-time former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was taken into custody from the Lahore High Court’s premises, where a large number of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers gathered ahead of the hearing in the Rs 700 crores (USD 41.9 million) money laundering case.

A two-member LHC bench headed by judge Sardar Ahmed Naeem rejected Shahbaz’s bail plea after hearing the arguments from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team and his lawyer.

The NAB arrested Shahbaz and took him to its Lahore’s detention centre. It will produce him to the accountability court for his physical remand.

The Imran Khan government last week filed the money laundering case against 69-year-old Shahbaz, who served as chief minister of Punjab province from 2008 to 2018, and his family.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz strongly criticized the arrest of her uncle and party president Shehbaz, saying he was being “punished” for standing by his brother Sharif’s side.

Reacting to the development, Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said “political victimization of the opposition continues during a global pandemic”.

Pakistan’s major opposition parties have demanded “immediate” resignation of Prime Minister Khan and planned countrywide protests next month to oust his government.

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Pak opposition parties form alliance to oust govt

By The SATimes News Service

Islamabad: Pakistan’s top opposition parties said they have formed an alliance to demand the ousting of the incumbent Imran Khan-led government, media reports said.

After naming their alliance as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), the leaders also announced launching of a three-phased anti-government movement under an “action plan” starting from next month with countrywide public meetings, protest demonstrations and rallies in December and a “decisive long march” towards Islamabad in January 2021, reports Dawn news.

Briefing reporters at the conclusion of more than eight-hour-long PPP-hosted multi-party conference (MPC), the opposition leaders announced that they would use all political and democratic options, including no-confidence motions and en mass resignations from Parliament, to seek “the selected prime minister’s resignation and an end to the role of the establishment in politics”.

The details of the “action plan” were presented before the media by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in the presence of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and vice president Maryam Nawaz, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and other prominent opposition leaders at a press briefing.

Before announcing the “action plan” aimed at ousting the present government, the JUI-F chief also read out a 26-point declaration in the form of a resolution containing various demands, including “end of establishment’s interference in politics, new free and fair elections after formulation of election reforms with no role of armed forces and intelligence agencies, release of political prisoners, withdrawal of cases against journalists, implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism, speeding up of the projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and across the board accountability under a new accountability law”.

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