ISLAMABAD, Jan 18 (SABAH): The National Assembly passed on Thursday a resolution condemning Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed’s ‘anti-Parliament’ remarks.
The National Assembly passed the resolution denouncing in strongest terms the insulting language used by Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid Ahmad in Wednesday’s public gathering in Lahore.
The resolution moved by Minister for Education Baligur Rehman said the two leaders who themselves are members of the parliament through their derogatory language tried to hurt the sanctity of the constitutional and sacred institution.
It said that the parliament is the representative institution of two hundred million proud people of Pakistan. In fact by using the abusive language, the two leaders tried to insult the people of the country which is condemnable.
The resolution reaffirmed that the stability and forward march of the country is linked with democracy which is inline with the vision of founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the constitution.
It noted that this house is the representative institution of democracy and there is no room of any other system in the country
The resolution, adopted with a majority owing to the absence of PTI members, stated that despite being MNAs, Imran and Rasheed damaged Parliament’s supremacy.
It also stated that the two have attempted to cast the ‘supreme institution’ in a negative light.
Moreover, during Thursday’s session, Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif and Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah came down hard on some members of Wednesday’s ‘joint opposition rally’ for their remarks against the Parliament.
Speaking in the assembly, Khawaja Asif lashed out at the opposition leaders for criticizing Parliament.
“All limits were crossed in the rally,” Khawaja Asif remarked in the assembly, saying that the “frustrations” of the opposition leaders knew no bounds.
He said that the leaders should be brought before a parliamentary committee of National Assembly.
“They should be summoned, and if they still don’t come then arrest them and bring them here. Decisions aren’t made in rallies but in the Parliament. They have attacked the parliament and hurled abuses. You can never come to power continuing on this path. You have abused the parliament you want to use to come to power,” he said.
“Parliament has given you the respect that you have today. Votes were cast in your favour in order for you to become a member of this parliament,” he said.
Otherwise, “what respect do they have? They have changed their parties six to seven times. They have no conscience, they have no shame,” Khawaja Asif said.
Parliament is an important law-making institution, Khawaja Asif Asif remarked, adding “If we don’t respect then no other institution will. If those who drive strength from the institution resort to abusing it, then no other institution will respect it.”
The foreign minister also said that this is the “lowest point of politics” and it has left the “nation’s head hanging in shame.”
Khawaja Asif Asif further said, “Elections are about to be held and everyone has the right to hold campaigns. They have the right to motivate their supporters but they hurled abuses. They have brought back shamelessness.”
Taking a jibe at Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahir-ul-Qadri, who led the joint opposition rally demanding justice for victims of Model Town incident, Khawaja Asif Asif remarked: “He has no relation with Pakistan. He is exploiting religion and has made a mockery of the religion.”
Reiterating Khawaja Asif’s claims pertaining to protecting the sanctity of the parliament, Khursheed Shah said that Parliament is a supreme institution. “I can’t even repeat the words used against the parliament,” he said.
Though Khursheed Shah’s Pakistan People’s Party was in attendance at the rally, the party leaders did not make the same comments as Sheikh Rasheed and Imran.
“Shame on everyone who uses that word, Parliament empowered us to demand and fight for our rights. Parliament made the country an atomic power. Parliament is the country’s last hope,” he said.
He also said that the political parties engage in a ‘battle’ over fighting votes and coming to the National Assembly.
“Nawaz Sharif (president Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz PML-N) insults the institutions of the country, Imran Khan insults the institutions of the country,” he said claiming that no member of Pakistan People’s Party has ever criticized any institution.
“We didn’t criticize the institutions even when our sitting prime minister was dismissed within seconds. We love Pakistan and its institutions,” he remarked.
At Wednesday’s ‘anti-government’ rally in Lahore, Imran had damned the Parliament for allowing Nawaz Sharif’s re-election as the party head after his disqualification. Imran’s remarks followed harsher condemnations of the Parliament from Sheikh Rasheed, who also announced his resignation from the assembly while addressing the rally.