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Pakistan: Scuffle breaks out in parliament, opposition walks out

ISLAMABAD: A scuffle broke out in the National Assembly on Thursday when five members from the opposition parties requested the speaker to submit a privileged motion against the prime minister.

During Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s address in the house, PTI lawmakers reportedly indulged in sloganeering against the government.

PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi approached Qureshi and requested him to control his party’s lawmakers. The opposition lawmakers were chanting ‘thief’ repeatedly.

When the sloganeering continued from the PTI benches, Abbasi again reportedly approached Qureshi but could not speak to him as he was intercepted by PTI lawmakers.

PTI MNAs alleged that Abbasi had passed derogatory remarks against their party chief Imran Khan.

The decorum of the house deteriorated and a scuffle broke out between the opposition and government members of the house.

The session was suspended briefly for 15 minutes after the incident.

The PTI and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) boycotted the session and walked out in protest after the scuffle.

Qureshi, talking to the media outside the parliament, said he had requested the speaker to give two minutes to each of the five movers of the motion and then the government could give its viewpoint as is norm.

“The prime minister had given his statement on the floor of the parliament, but his lawyers deviated from it,” said Qureshi.

He added that the behaviour of the government benches was not fit for lawmakers.

Friction between the PTI and PML-N has increased in recent days due to almost daily Panamagate hearings in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

The PTI is demanding the premier’s resignation as they claim that the speech give by the prime minister in the parliament and the evidence submitted in court do not match.

The opposition claims as Sharif is no longer ‘Sadiq‘ or ‘Ameen‘, he can not hold the office of the prime minister under the constitution. -DN


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