ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly passed a resolution condemning Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed’s ‘anti-Parliament’ remarks.
Anti-government’ rally in Lahore, Imran had cursed the Parliament for allowing Nawaz Sharif’s re-election as the party head after his disqualification.
“I give Laanat (curse) the parliament that made a criminal the president of a party,” he said, in an apparent reference to ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif being elected the PML-N president.
Imran’s remarks followed the repeated cursing of the parliament from Rasheed, who also announced his resignation from the assembly.
The resolution, adopted with a majority owing to the absence of PTI members, stated that despite being MNAs, Imran and Rasheed damaged Parliament’s supremacy.
It also stated that the two have attempted to cast the ‘supreme institution’ in a negative light.
They crossed all limits: Khawaja Asif
Moreover, during today’s session, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah came down hard on some members of Wednesday’s ‘joint opposition rally’ for their remarks against the Parliament.
Speaking in the assembly, Asif lashed out at the opposition leaders for criticising Parliament.
“All limits were crossed in the [joint opposition] rally,” Asif remarked in the assembly, adding that the “frustrations” of the opposition leaders knew no bounds.
He said that the leaders should be brought before a parliamentary committee of National Assembly. “They should be summoned, and if they still don’t come then arrest them and bring them here [assembly].
Decisions aren’t made in rallies but in the Parliament. They [opposition leaders] have attacked the parliament and hurled abuses. You can never come to power continuing on this path. You have abused the parliament you want to use to come to power,” he said.
“Parliament has given you the respect that you have today. Votes were cast in your favour in order for you to become a member of this parliament,” he said.
Otherwise, “what respect do they have? They have changed their parties six to seven times. They have no conscience, they have no shame.”
Parliament is an important law-making institution, Asif remarked, adding “If we don’t respect then no other institution will. If those who drive strength from the institution resort to abusing it, then no other institution will respect it.”
The foreign minister also said that this is the “lowest point of politics” and it has left the “nation’s head hanging in shame.”
Asif further said: “Elections are about to be held and everyone has the right to hold campaigns. They have the right to motivate their supporters but they hurled abuses. They have brought back shamelessness.”
Taking a jibe at Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahir-ul-Qadri, who led the joint opposition rally demanding justice for victims of Model Town incident, Asif remarked: “He has no relation with Pakistan. He is exploiting religion and has made a mockery of the religion.”
Parliament is supreme, says opposition leader
Reiterating Asif’s claims pertaining to protecting the sanctity of the parliament, Shah said that Parliament is a supreme institution.
“I can’t even repeat the words used against the parliament [in the joint opposition rally],” he said.
Though Shah’s Pakistan Peoples Party was in attendance at the rally, the party leaders did not make the same comments as Sheikh Rasheed and Imran.
“Shame on everyone who uses that word. Parliament empowered us to demand and fight for our rights. Parliament made the country an atomic power. Parliament is the country’s last hope.”
He also said that the political parties engage in a ‘battle’ over fighting votes and coming to the National Assembly.
“Nawaz Sharif [chief of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] insults the institutions of the country. Imran Khan insults the institutions of the country,” he said claiming that no member of Pakistan Peoples Party has ever criticised any institution.
“We didn’t criticise the institutions even when our sitting prime minister was dismissed within seconds. We love Pakistan and its institutions,” he remarked.
Imran slams NA for electing ‘criminal’ as party chief
While addressing the joint opposition rally on Wednesday, Imran had lambasted the Parliament for allowing a ‘criminal’ to be elected as a party president.
“I send lanath (curse) the parliament that made a criminal the president of a party,” he said, in an apparent reference the election of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif as the PML-N president.
“The two [Sharif] brothers are responsible for the Model Town incident,” said Imran. “I can say without beyond a shadow of a doubt that it [Model Town incident] was done on orders received by the police.”
He accused the Sharif brothers of being ‘fascists’ and claimed that they are not even ‘remotely democratic.’
“I know them since the past forty years,” he said. “They get people roughed up.”
However, Imran tweeted a clarification of sorts explaining that a law which condoned a corrupt person deserved a harsher term than what he used.