Joint opposition slams govt’s ‘unilateral moves’

ISLAMABAD: Leaders of the joint opposition on Thursday lashed out at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for allegedly taking arbitrary decision through presidential ordinances.

They said the reports about the government planning to file a reference against the chief election commissioner (CEC) had further exposed its fascist methods.

The opposition leaders also said the PTI-led federal government’s intention to take over administrative control of Karachi by invoking Article 149 was an attack on provincial autonomy.

Addressing the media at the Parliament House, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Pakistan Muslim League’s Nawaz’s (PML-N) Ahsan Iqbal and Maulana Asad Mehmood of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) warned the government that any attempt to jeopardise the solidarity of the country would not be tolerated.

“The joint sitting of parliament that marked the start of the new parliamentary year was a time to show unity but stops were taken at the last moment that have made the office of the president controversial,” said Iqbal.

“The president notified members of the Election Commission of Pakistan in violation of the constitution and the CEC rightly refused to accept these appointments. The government has exposed its fascist face by planning to file a reference against the CEC,” he added.

The PML-N leader further claimed that the National Assembly speaker was forced into not issuing the production orders of the detained lawmakers.

“We do not consider the house complete in the absence of the detained lawmakers.”

Iqbal said a person who had violated the constitution had no right to address the parliament.

“He [President Arif Alvi] is not the president of the PTI, but of the country. He should have spoken about the issues faced by the public instead of trying to highlight the government’s performance.”

PPP leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf also lamented the absence of detained MNAs at the joint sitting of parliament. “The government has resorted to childish ways and it is responsible for whatever happened in the house,” he said.

Ashraf also said by planning to invoke Article 149 in Karachi to turn into a separate administrative unit, the federal government was putting the solidarity of the country at risk.

“This is an attack on provincial autonomy. Any misadventure by the federal government won’t be tolerated,” he added.

JUI-F’s Maulana Asad Mehmood said the government had shredded national unity into pieces by preventing detained members from attending the joint sitting.

“Unilateral decisions are being made through presidential ordinances. Is this a democratic system? We don’t accept this government’s mandate,” he added.

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