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ISLAMABAD: The lawmakers belonging to both treasury and opposition based on dissidents of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), on Tuesday, demanded strict action against PTI supporters involved in damaging military buildings and installations last week under the Army Act and Official Secrets Act.

Taking part in a debate on last week’s vandalism in the wake of PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest, Aslam Bhootani of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), condemned May 09 vandalism and said all those involved in it should be given the harshest possible punishment.

He endorsed the Pakistan armed forces’ announcement to observe May 9 as a “black day” in the country and asked the government to award exemplary punishment to people involved in the May 9 incidents.

Javed Latif of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) alleged that the violent acts of May 9 including the attack on Jinnah House in Lahore were plotted by PTI Chairman Imran Khan which was tantamount to “mutiny” against the state.

He said those who ransacked and vandalised public and private properties were trained miscreants; however, he failed to substantiate his claim how those involved in the vandalism were trained terrorists.

“Those who attacked military installations and ransacked other buildings including that of Radio Pakistan Peshawar need to be taken to task in accordance with the law,” he added.

“All culprits involved in the May 9 incidents should be tried under Army Act,” he added.

Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali of Jamaat-e-Islami said that his party stands with the armed forces of Pakistan, adding, “We expressed solidarity with the Pakistan Army”. However, he strongly condemned those involved in May 09 arson to be tried under the colonial military act and the official secrets act.

Sheikh Salahuddin, a PTI dissident, said PTI chief Imran Khan is the real culprit and mastermind of the May 9 riots, and accused him of misleading his workers and supporters.

He said that the culprits involved in damaging and attacking the defence and public buildings should not be spared and tried under Army Act.

Speaking on points of order, the lawmakers from different political parties called for simultaneous elections, saying split-election is no solution to the problem confronting the country.

Dr Darshan of the PML-N said that the caretaker governments after the 90-day duration were not unconstitutional as the matter was sub judice in the apex court.

He said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had called to hold Punjab Assembly elections on May 14 but the institutions concerned had their reservations.

Maulana Chitrali said the matter pertaining to interim governments in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab is a sub judice matter.

Syed Imran Shah of the PML-N said the caretaker governments were to hold free and fair elections within 90 days, but the present situation was not a routine one.

He said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was not holding elections because of the funds issue as the country was already facing an economic crisis.

Pakistan could not afford separate elections rather simultaneous polls on one day across the country were the only solution, he added.

Two private members’ bills were introduced in the house.

Aslam Bhootani moved the Chairman and Speaker (Salaries, Allowances and Privileges) (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

The bill aims at the provision of entitlement of protocol and status to the chairman Senate and NA Speaker as deputy head of state or vice president of the host country while travelling abroad for official business, in line with the rules of international courtesy, formal communication norms and ceremonial practices to follow in official functions and occasions.

PML-N’s Javed Husnain moved the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (Amendment in Article 76) which was also forwarded to the relevant committee for deliberation.

The bill sought amendment in clause (3) of Article 76 and the proposed amendment states that if the member-in-charge of a bill is elected again to National Assembly, his bill which was passed by the previous National Assembly and pending in Senate, shall not be deemed to have been lapsed on the dissolution of that assembly.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Sam May 24, 2023 02:20pm
A stupidly planned black swan event! Failed muserably!
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