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Opposition rattles PML-N, renews calls for PM’s resignation

Opposition parties on Friday ramped up the pressure against the ruling PML-N and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, demanding the premier’s resignation with one voice and protesting yesterday’s Supreme Court verdict on Panamagate in parliament.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), PPP and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) each held press conferences following a meeting of opposition parties in Islamabad which PTI Chairman Imran Khan snubbed, heading over instead to the National Assembly (NA) where he announced his party’s intent to hold a rally in Islamabad next week demanding the PM’s resignation for the duration of a probe into the Sharif family.

Following a spate of opposition speeches today, the PML-N appeared to be on the back foot as party leader Daniyal Aziz lashed out at opposition parties, saying that Maryam Nawaz’s name had been cleared by the court in the Panamagate case. Aziz also set his sights on Imran Khan, asking the PTI chief to issue a public denial that he hid his assets and engaged in tax evasion.
Shah calls for postponing parliamentary sessions

A meeting of opposition parties chaired by PPP’s Khursheed Shah and Aitzaz Ahsan was held to discuss the ramifications of the SC verdict on Panamagate earlier today.

The opposition collectively decided to demand the PM’s resignation and protest the matter in both the NA and Senate.

Leader of the Opposition in the NA Khursheed Shah while addressing the joint meeting said, “Besides the government, every other party has understood the Panama case verdict.”

“Today the sessions of parliament and senate will be postponed indefinitely,” the leader of the opposition stated at the meeting, adding that opposition parties must vehemently protest in both the upper and lower houses of parliament.
PTI rallies for PM’s resignation

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan announced his party’s intention to hold a rally in Islamabad next Friday to “demand Nawaz Sharif’s resignation”.

Speaking to reporters outside the NA, Khan posed the question: “With which face will the PML-N confront the public after the comments made in the Supreme Court judgement?”

“I asked the PML-N supporters, what were you distributing sweets for yesterday? You should have read the full judgement yesterday,” he said.

“It has never happened in Pakistan’s history before, that such comments were passed against a sitting prime minister.”

“All five judges have raised questions asked by the PTI,” he said, adding that the apex court had rejected all defence presented by the PM’s counsel.

“Resign while you are being investigated,” he urged the premier. “This is not an unusual demand.”

Imran asked if it was possible for heads of institutions like the National Accountability Bureau to investigate the prime minister while he is power.

“If these institutions had been working, they would have stopped corruption already,” he asserted.

The PTI chief avoided an earlier meeting of opposition parties today which was held to discuss the ramifications of the Panama case verdict.
‘Soft hand on Sharifs’: PPP rejects JIT

PPP lawmakers Aitzaz Ahsan and Khursheed Shah addressing a press conference following the meeting of opposition parties rejected the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the PM’s family, claiming that the Sharifs have links with the Inter-Services Intelligence, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, and the State Bank of Pakistan.

Shah asked, “How can an employee fairly investigate his employer?” he asked.

“We always asked the PM to refrain from resigning [in the past] for the sake of democracy. We always stood by Nawaz Sharif in the name of democracy,” he said.

Shah maintained the three other judges had not disagreed with those dissenting, but added the condition of a JIT to probe the PM and his sons.

Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said it was a custom of the SC to “keep a soft hand on the Sharifs”, adding that the majority judges had rejected a letter from a Qatari royal submitted as evidence by the PM’s counsel.

He said the PPP rejected a JIT which would include people who favoured the ruling party.

The PPP also rejected the SC decision to clear Maryam Nawaz before the formation of the JIT.

In response to a question, he said the PPP would form a new strategy to force the prime minister to step down.
‘You think you passed the exam?’

Awami Muslim League (AML) President Sheikh Rasheed called for all parties to create “a grand alliance” against the government.

“You failed in two subjects and failed to clear the other three, and you still think you passed the exam,” Rasheed exclaimed.

“It doesn’t make sense that you [the PML-N] are distributing sweets even after you’ve failed,” he said.
JI calls for PM’s resignation ‘on moral grounds’
JI’s Sirajul Haq speaks outside Parliament House. ─ DawnNews

Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Sirajul Haq called for the resignation of PM Nawaz Sharif “on moral grounds”.

The JI chief framed the party’s move against the sitting prime minister as part of its ongoing campaign against corruption.

“Nawaz’s respect lies in resigning and conducting a free investigation into the case,” he maintained.

“The SC verdict is not the destination, but a step forward towards success.”
‘Go Nawaz, go’: lawmakers protest in parliament

Opposition lawmakers in the Upper and Lower House on Friday protested the Panamagate verdict announced by the Supreme Court a day earlier, with chants of ‘Go Nawaz, go’ echoing in parliament.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi struggled to maintain order in the house as PML-N’s Sheikh Aftab’s speech during question hour was disrupted by MNAs registering their protest before the speaker’s dias and staging a walkout.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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