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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), on Wednesday, described the Tuesday’s ruckus in the National Assembly as an “attack” and a “conspiracy” against democracy and the parliamentary system, and held Prime Minister Imran Khan as responsible for creating the situation in the House.

Speaking at a news conference, senior PML-N leaders including former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and party secretary-general Ahsan Iqbal asked Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser to step down for his alleged failure to protect the sanctity of the House.

“We have been saying since long that the speaker has failed in running the House. He [Qaiser] had already lost the trust of the opposition and now the treasury benches as well. He openly says that he is unable to do anything and that he is under pressure. If the ministers are using abusive language in front of the speaker and he is sitting helplessly without doing anything, then he has no moral grounds to remain on the position anymore,” Abbasi said, adding the speaker should have resigned himself for the sake of the sanctity of the chair and the parliament.

“Whatever happened day after yesterday [in the Parliament House] benefited only those who claim that the parliamentary system won’t work in the country…and what we witnessed yesterday, was an attack on this [parliamentary] system,” he asserted, adding that “they” wanted to create an impression that the politicians are the ones who are abusive.

“Those who are abusive and were throwing the books [in the House Tuesday] are very few. They are the ones who were sent to the parliament by stealing the 2018 general elections…They could have never been to the parliament, if the elections were not rigged. This is a conspiracy against democracy and the parliamentary system,” he further alleged.

Abbasi accused Prime Minister Imran Khan of being responsible for the ruckus in House.

He alleged that after the prime minister was called “Donkey King”, he tasked his party parliamentarians to heckle the opposition, adding that this, he had learnt from inside the PTI.

To a question about electoral reforms, he said his party had already had a position on that, adding that it needed constitutional amendment following thorough debates in the committees.

“Their [the government] intention is not good. If it needs any amendments, then the political parties in the house can sit together…otherwise, it will only be a game,” he maintained.

Abbasi also criticised the FIA notice issued to the PML-N president and opposition leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, saying that one and a half years had passed, and the investigation team on sugar scam had yet to come up with the conclusion as to why the sugar price was gone up to Rs110 from Rs53 per kilogram and who were responsible for that increase.

He said that a co-opted member of the FIA, Lahore investigating the sugar scam had issued the notice to the opposition leader to the National Assembly.

“What is the linkage of Shehbaz Sharif with sugar? Is he a shareholder in any sugar mills…Is he a director in any sugar mills?” he asked, claiming that Shehbaz had been served the notice to prevent him from telling the “truth” to the nation.

He posed questions to the sugar investigation team to ascertain first as to why the sugar price was increased and who was behind that.

He further asked the investigation team as to whether it had summoned the prime minister to ask him as to why he had approved the export of one million tons of sugar in one go.

Ahsan Iqbal accused the prime minister of “directly supervising the operation” in the House, on Tuesday.

He further alleged that the prime minister had “summoned” the speaker, and he was asked as to why he had adjourned the House when his ministers were heckling the opposition.

“For the sake of ego of only one person [the PM] the entire system has been put at stake because his “ego” has been hurt,” he further alleged.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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