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ISLAMABAD: In what came as a major setback to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led federal government, the treasury benches in the National Assembly on Thursday failed to lay an all important Ordinance that aims to provide consular access to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav under Vienna Convention, following strong resistance from opposition that staged a walkout in the House after pointing out quorum to block the ordinance.

Due to lack of quorum and suspension of House proceedings for over an hour, the Speaker had to adjourn the session till today (Friday), to meet at 11:00 am.

When the floor was given to Advisor to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan for laying the ordinance, the whole opposition stood from their seats and waged a strong protest. They started raised slogans "Modi ka jo yaar hai ghadaar hai, (the friend of Narendra Modi is a traitor)."

The opposition members demanded to be given the floor of the House to express their views on the ordinance.

Presiding over the House proceedings, Amjad Ali Khan from PTI accepted the opposition's demand and gave them the floor.

In his speech, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Parliamentary Leader in National Assembly Khawaja Asif said Pakistan's honour is being compromised to bail out Indian spy- Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav.

"It is irony of fate, the PML-N government was criticized in the past due to the Indian spy and the same slogans were raised against it and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Now, these slogans are being raised against Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government." He said that the incumbent government has made Kulbhushan Jadhav its blue-eyed and the government also opening trade with India.

"Kulbhushan Jadhav is a convict who committed acts of terrorism in Pakistan. Why is he being favoured now? Prime Minister Imran Khan should tell why Pakistan's dignity is being compromised? Who is Modi's friend now?" an emotionally charged Asif said.

The PML-N leader said, "Kulbhushan Jadhav is Pakistan's enemy and has confessed to his crimes. This ordinance is not acceptable. The government is taking international pressure."

"Now, the PTI government has bowed down before Modi while on the other hand Indian military forces are brutally killing the people of Kashmir. Why is the government appeasing India," he said.

Responding to Khawaja Asif, Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari said the former government decided to go to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). She said that PML-N government had accepted the decision of ICJ and wrote a letter to it.

She recalled it was the PML-N government which had accepted the jurisdiction of ICJ in Kulbhushan Jadhav case. She said the PTI and PPP at that time had extremely opposed this move. She said we now have to implement the ICJ decision as it has given its judgment in the case.

Chairman Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said Prime Minister Imran Khan says that he will not give NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to anyone but he has given NRO to Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav, Indian pilot Abhinandan, terrorist Ehsanullah Ehsan and all the individuals involved in mega corruption in the country.

He said that that the government brought the ordinance facilitating Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav in May this year but kept it hidden from political parties, legislators and the people of Pakistan. Why this PTI government wants to give NRO to an Indian spy who has confessed to terrorism in Pakistan, he asked.

He said before this, the Indian pilot who tried to bombard Pakistan's territory in Balakot was released after being offered a cup of tea.

Chairman PPP said when he "speaks against the Prime Minister Imran Khan then Ehsanullah Ehsan comes out to protect him and threatens us."

He said "Imran Khan is in connivance with terrorists. He was against operation against terrorists during PPP tenure from 2008-13. Imran Khan always supported the terrorists and still he is in collusion with the terrorists. Ehsanullah Ehsan killed Pakistani citizens and the children of APS (Army Public Schoo). Imran Khan will have to answer the parents of APS martyred children," Bilawal said.

He said that Imran Khan gave NRO to Jahangir Tareen and others involved in sugar crisis, BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project, Malam Jabba scam, Billion Tree Tsunami Project, wheat scandal and oil scandal.

He also demanded to abolish NAB (National Accountability Bureau) as the Supreme Court has said that this institution is a means of political engineering and impose pygmies and criminals on the people of Pakistan as rulers. He demanded a new institution which does across the board accountability "including judges and generals because every Pakistani is equal before the state."

Before pointing out the quorum, Bilawal said "We will not let this National Assembly session continue which wants to give NRO to Kulbhushan Jadhav." Thereafter, he pointed out quorum after which the session was adjourned till the quorum was met. But, after an hour, the quorum was not completed and the Speaker had to adjourn the session till Friday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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