After having lost the hope to have a verdict from the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over the Panama Leaks issue, PTI has decided to end its boycott of the National Assembly.
This, however, will not be the first such decision by chairman Imran Khan as Imran now has started emerging as the master of U turns; frequent U turns on various issues by PTI is lowering the popularity of Imran Khan amongst youth as well as the party losing its credibility amongst it supports.
Talking to reporters after heading the meeting of the party office-bearers and parliamentarians at his Banigala residence here on Tuesday, Imran Khan announced that they had decided to end their boycott of the assembly in order to seek an explanation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly making a false statement about his foreign properties on the floor of the house.
The new session of the National Assembly begins on Wednesday (today).
Mr Imran Khan stated that his party would move an adjournment motion as well as a privilege motion against the prime minister for his act of “lying to the parliament and the nation”, on the floor of the house.
The PTI made this announcement few hours later than the submission of a privilege motion by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) against the prime minister over the same issue.
Imran Khan boycotted the sessions of the National Assembly in October until the decision of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case. Last week, the Supreme Court deferred the hearing of the case till the first week of January, by that time the current Chief Justice Mr. Anwar Zaheer Jamali will be retired and the new Chief Justice Saqib Nisar will be in chair. Despite severe opposition from within and outside the PTI, Mr Khan remained stuck to his decision and boycotted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s address to a joint session of parliament last month.
Along with PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Imran Khan said that through the adjournment motion his party would seek a full-fledged debate on the matter and see how parliamentarians hold the PM accountable for making a “false statement” on the floor of the house.
In the meanwhile, five legislators of PPP, including Opposition Leader Syed Khurshid Shah, on Tuesday submitted a privilege motion against the prime minister for allegedly committing “contempt of the parliament” by making a false statement on the floor of the house. The motion has also been signed by Syed Naveed Qamar, Nafeesa Shah, Aijaz Jakhrani and Shazia Marri.
Mr. Khan stated that PTI would decide its next course of action after experiencing the response of parliament to the two motions the party planned to move in the National Assembly.
Mr Khan stated that the President of Brazil had faced impeachment only because he had provided wrong figures about the budget to parliament. “Here, a PM is telling lies to conceal his corruption and properties worth billions of rupees,” he regretted.
In reply to a question, Imran Khan said it was the prime minister who had “discredited” parliament by lying on its floor, and not the PTI. “What opposition is doing if they cannot make the prime minister answerable to the National Assembly?” he said while responding to a question about criticism his party was facing over the decision to boycott the assembly.
Mr. Khan said whenever he brought people on roads, he was accused of inviting martial law indirectly. However, he said, if he again decided to take the people to the streets, his opponents will have no grounds to accuse him of inviting the Pakistan Army for Martial Law.
Mr Khan alleged that after having destroyed each and every institution, PM Sharif was now “eying” the Supreme Court and Pakistan Army.
“Now Nawaz Sharif is desirous to take full of Supreme Court and Pakistan Army as his subservient like Punjab Police. Imran Khan hoped these two institutions will not dishearten the nation and will not come under their (rulers’) control,” he added.
He said he was thwarted with the apex court as he desired a day-to-day hearing of the Panama case. However, he said the PTI would wait for a final outcome of the case in the Supreme Court of Pakistan
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