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Pak: Opposition to boycott Punjab Assembly session

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Lahore | July 4, 2024 3:11:19 AM IST
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-backed opposition in the Punjab Assembly has declared its intention to boycott the house proceedings and abstain from participating in its standing committees. Instead, they plan to conduct a parallel session in a tent outside the assembly building, Dawn reported.

"We''ll neither become a part of any house proceedings nor its committees," opposition leader Malik Ahmed Khan Bhachar stated at a press conference on Tuesday.

He explained that their decision stemmed from their protest against the suspension of 11 opposition lawmakers for 15 sittings of the house, vowing to continue their boycott until the sanctions are revoked, according to Dawn.

Speaker Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan revoked the official vehicle assigned to the opposition leader and imposed sanctions on 11 members for alleged "rowdyism" during Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz''s budget speech last Friday.

Among those facing sanctions are Zulfikar Ali, Shehbaz Ahmed, Muhammad Atif, Tayyab Rashid, Imtiaz Mahmood, Hafiz Farhat Abbas, Ejaz Shafi, Rana Aurangzeb, Shoaib Amir, Osama Asghar Ali Gujjar, and Asad Abbas. They were accused of using non-parliamentary and abusive language towards the chief minister while she was recounting her administration''s achievements during her first 100-day rule.

Bhachar asserted that his colleagues were penalized at the behest of the chief minister and for voicing objections to the budget.

He argued that the speaker should have issued notices to the members and conducted a hearing before taking action. "Penalising parliamentarians without hearing them is unprecedented," he criticised, questioning how a chief minister could represent 120 million people when unable to face a few legislators.

Recalling past incidents during Pervaiz Elahi''s regime, Bhachar noted that the opposition PML-N had even broken chairs in the house without repercussions.

The opposition leader expressed their refusal to be embroiled in ''illegal'' cases and announced plans to pursue all available legal avenues against the government''s actions.

He also appealed to the government''s leadership to act prudently and avoid exacerbating anti-PTI sentiments.

The opposition intends to continue conducting a parallel assembly session in a ''tent chamber'' outside the assembly building, with appointed private staff to facilitate proceedings, Dawn reported. (ANI)

 
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