ISLAMABAD - Condemning the prime minister’s remarks against PPPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the joint opposition in Thursday’s National Assembly proceedings demanded Imran Khan to tender apology on the floor of the house.

Prime Minister Khan the other day had referred to Bilawal as ‘Sahiba [a feminine title of respect]’ in a public gathering at Wana town of South Waziristan tribal district.

The opposition protest over the issue dominated Thursday’s proceedings and the Chair abruptly adjourned the sitting to avoid further rumpus in the house.

During the proceedings, the joint opposition threatened to launch a countrywide ‘go-Imran-go movement’ if the prime minister did not take back his ‘misogynistic’ comments.

The opposition lawmakers started chanting ‘Go-Imran-Go’ soon after the ‘Question–hour’, the first one-hour session designated for MNAs queries from government. The women MNAs while chanting slogans gathered around the speaker’s podium and managed to get the floor to express their strong reaction to the PM’s remarks.

PPPP’s Naafeesa Shah, on point of order, demanded Imran Khan to tender an apology on the floor of the house. “The prime minister has insulted his own office by using the objectionable words,” she said.

She said that the prime minister had tried to insult a young politician whose family had rendered lot of sacrifices for the country. “The prime minister objectionable remarks are [also] an insult to our culture and values,” she added. Asserting that it was not a ‘slip of tongue’, the PPP leader said, “We would not accept Imran Khan as prime minister, if he did not apologise.”

 

 

 

Elections bill for Fata

Before the opposition uproar, the government got passed the Elections (Amendment) bill-2019 unanimously with an aim to insert an identical provision for delimitation of general seats of newly allocated provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for erstwhile Fata [Federally Administered Tribal Areas].

The statement of objects and reasons of the bill, moved by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, read: “Pursuant to 25th Constitutional Amendment the Election Commission is obliged to conduct election on 16 general seats of erstwhile Fata including Frontier Region for the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before 25th July 2019”.

It said the Election Commission of Pakistan is facing great difficulty in delimiting the six ex-frontier regions, which have been annexed by the provincial government along with other adjoining districts. “Section20 (2) of the Elections Act, 2017 provides that the Election Commission may while delimiting constituencies for the general seats in the national assembly for the tribal areas, group two or more separate areas into one constituency,” it added.

“In order to avert disenfranchisement of ex-tribal areas including its non-contiguous frontier regions, the commission suggested to insert identical provision for delimitation of general seats of newly allocated provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for erstwhile Fata” the bill statement said.

The house remained in session for one and half hour during which the government side hardly managed to get this one bill passed, while the rest of the six agenda items could not be disposed of.