Fireworks likely in NA today over Shahbaz’s arrest

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly is likely to witness a noisy session as the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, the main opposition party, has planned to lodge a strong protest against alleged political victimisation by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif, who has been in custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) since Oct 5 in the Ashiyana-i-Iqbal housing scam, is expected to deliver a speech on the floor of the house.
His production orders were issued by NA Speaker Asad Qaiser last week.
The NA session has been summoned on PML-N lawmakers’ requisition that they had submitted shortly after the arrest of their party president in Lahore.
Official in the PML-N told Daily Mail that their members would wear black armbands to protest against the government while some members would also carry placards and posters of their leaders.
During the session, which will last one day only, other opposition leaders will also make speeches to scrutinise government’s economic policies and its decision of seeking a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund contrary to PTI chief Imran Khan’s previous claim that after becoming prime minister he would never get loan come what may.
On Oct 6, the lawmakers of a couple of opposition parties in both the houses of parliament had met Speaker Qaiser at his residence and demanded immediate convening of an NA session and sought the issuance of production orders for the leader of the opposition so that he could attend the session.
The delegation of opposition leaders comprised PML-N chairman and Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Raja Zafarul Haq, former NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and PML-N lawmaker Rana Tanvir.
During the meeting, the opposition leaders demanded that the NA session be summoned immediately so that they could raise the issue of Shahbaz’s arrest effectively.
The PML-N had also submitted a requisition to the Punjab Assembly for immediate convening of its session so that the opposition party in the province could lodge its protest against the PTI-led provincial government.
The PML-N had last week staged protest demonstrations in Islamabad and Lahore against alleged political victimisation by the government through NAB.