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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Appoint a new leader of Opposition, Fawad urges speaker NA

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry urges the speaker of the national assembly to appoint new opposition leader. This is likely to intensify the situation as the PML-N is already setting up meeting with PTI’s allies. Will PM Imran advise Fawad to remain silent?

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday said that he will raise the issue of Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif’s long time absence from Parliament in tomorrow’s lower house session, ARY News reported. “I will raise the matter of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif’s repatriation in the next session of the National Assembly (NA),” said Fawad Chaudhry in a statement.

He urged National Assembly speaker to take notice of PML-N Shehbaz Sharif’s absence from NA and called to initiate a process for appointing new Opposition Leader. The minister also urged the Punjab government to fulfil its constitutional responsibilities for Shehbaz return to Pakistan. The minister said that he had already written a letter to the Speaker for carrying out proceedings for disqualification of Shehbaz Sharif.

Earlier on Wednesday, Fawad Chaudhry called to file plea seeking disqualification of Shehbaz Sharif as former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is not returning to Pakistan. Fawad Chaudhry in his tweet said the cabinet had conditioned Nawaz Sharif’s departure abroad with money under the light of the court decisions but the courts later allowed the erstwhile premier to travel to a foreign country on Shehbaz Sharif’s guarantee.

Read more: Shehbaz Sharif won’t come back until Nawaz’s surgery, PML-N

It may be mention here that federal government, after consulting with the Punjab government, had written a letter to the British government on March 3 for Nawaz Sharif’s return as his bail ended.

Fawad’s letter to speaker NA

Recently, Mr. Chaudhry wrote a letter to Speaker National Assembly, Asad Qaiser, and said it was a matter of great concern and that the opposition leader had been conspicuous by his absence for a long time.  “In addition, he has withdrawn from the position of chairman, Public Accounts Committee, which is an important component of the National Assembly,” he noted.

The federal minister further said that despite his non-appearance and his obvious disinterest in the affairs of the House, Shehbaz was enjoying all the privileges entitled to the office of the opposition leader, which was a clear violation of the Rules of Business of the National Assembly and a contravention of democratic norms.

“In view of the above circumstances, Shehbaz Sharif may either be inquired about the confirmed dates of his return to Pakistan or a move for the appointment of a new opposition leader may be expedited forthwith, so that the business of the House may be carried out smoothly, and the legislative functions of the House be performed without any hindrance,” Chaudhry added.

Read more: Will Shehbaz Sharif return to Pakistan?

It is worth noting that this publication recently reported that the PML-N is not returning to Pakistan any time soon. Credible sources told GVS that the PML-N’s President is considering various options before making any final decision. “Shehbaz Sharif always wanted to come back to Pakistan but he never trusted Nawaz and Maryam,” a source, GVS spoke with, said.

Earlier, media reports claimed that Shehbaz Sharif held a two-hour-long consultative meeting with elder brother and former premier, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. It was revealed, read reports, that Shehbaz Sharif will board a flight tentatively within the next two days for his return to home soil.

Shehbaz Sharif has been in London with his elder brother Nawaz Sharif who is undergoing medical treatment after he was released on bail by Lahore High Court and allowed to fly abroad on the basis of critical health conditions.

No politically powerful person in Pakistan’s history has ever been punished in a court of law; convictions even if obtained in lower courts are almost always overturned by superior courts

In a statement, the PML-N’s President has said it was very unfortunate that Maryam was not being granted permission to take care of her father. Maryam should be permitted to be with her father on humanitarian grounds, the PML-N president said.

“As Nawaz’s health is concerned, the margin for medical action is reducing as more time passes,” Shehbaz said, adding that cardiologists had to twice change the earlier decided date for his brother’s cardiac catheterization as Maryam was not with him.

There is a widely held perception in Pakistan that Nawaz Sharif left for London after signing a deal with the establishment. Therefore, no tweet or statement has been issued by Nawaz or his daughter against the same, sources claim.

Read more: Has Shehbaz Sharif filed a case in London’s court against Daily Mail?

Those who suspect a deal point towards the past. If the history of Pakistan is any witness to help then it may be true. No politically powerful person in Pakistan’s history has ever been punished in a court of law; convictions even if obtained in lower courts are almost always overturned by superior courts. The system simply does not have the will to punish powerful people- they argue. In the instant case, powerful sections of media, doctors and other actors active behind the scenes made a case to pressurize Prime Minister Imran Khan to let Nawaz go to London under a medical emergency.

Some sources claim that once again an overall political context is being created to force the government to let Maryam Nawaz leave for London. However, this time it looks difficult for Prime Minister Imran Khan to allow Maryam to leave the country since some of his key cabinet members are against any such move.