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Pakistan

Bilawal, Qureshi engage in heated discussion in National Assembly

  • PPP chairperson says NA speaker's support enabled govt to pass budget
  • Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says if Bilawal has reservations about the speaker's decision, then he should take it up in his chamber
Published June 30, 2021

Karachi: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto has said that had the National Assembly (NA) Speaker Asad Qaiser not supported the voting process on the amended Finance Bill 2021, the whole country would have seen that Prime Minister Imran Khan did not get the majority votes.

Addressing the floor of the Parliament, the PPP leader said that during the session on Tuesday, the NA speaker robbed the members of their votes, adding that he gave the government full opportunity to pass the bill.

"The whole country saw how difficult it was for the government to get 172 votes. First Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri took his time, while the members ran here and there to look for their members" Bilawal said.

National Assembly approves amended Finance Bill 2021

He said when the opposition demanded a headcount for the approval of the bill, the speaker rejected their demand and walked out. A day ago, the PPP chairman in a statement said what happened in the NA is a bad tradition.

He said he has written a letter to the speaker in this regard. "If this mistake is not rectified, this budget will be illegal. This budget is unconstitutional. We will take up this issue from Kashmir to Karachi," he added.

Bilawal, FM Qureshi engage in war of words

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi responded to the PPP leader and said that Bilawal had continuously criticised the speaker who is the custodian of the House. If he has reservations about the speaker's decision, then he should take it up in his chamber, the FM said.

Qureshi added that Bilawal spoke a lot about parliamentary procedures.

"What parliamentary procedures are you talking about? In Sindh, where you have the government, you did not allow the opposition leader to speak. Have you given the opposition representation in the provincial standing committees?"

In response, Bilawal said that instead of making speeches, the FM should arrange a phone call between US President Joe Biden and the PM, adding that it is an embarrassment to the country that no contact has been made with the US president.

PML-N rejects supplementary budget

On Tuesday, the NA approved the amended Finance Amendment Bill by 172 votes to 138 votes. 25 opposition members along with the Opposition Leader in the NA Shehbaz Sharif were absent from the crucial proceeding.

The Finance Bill 2021 was discussed clause by clause in the House. Amendments proposed by the treasury members were accepted, while not a single amendment proposed by the opposition members was accepted.

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