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Opposition in Pakistan’s Punjab assembly holds its own session, vows not to accept Maryam Nawaz as CM

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The opposition in the Pakistan‘s Punjab assembly held a session on Saturday amidst the rising tensions with the treasury, vowing to reject Maryam Nawaz as the chief minister and referring to her as “fake Form-47,” while the speaker took action and suspended all opposition leaders.
According to the Pakistan-based Dawn the conflict between opposition lawmakers from the PTI (Sunni Ittehad Council) and ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers intensified after 11 opposition members were suspended for 15 sittings due to “rowdyism” during Punjab CM Maryam Nawaz’s address on Friday.
The situation further intensified when the government revoked the perks and privileges of opposition leader Malik Ahmad Khan Bhachar and sealed his chamber in the assembly.
As the session began on Saturday, a large contingent of police and a prisoner van were stationed outside the Punjab Assembly, with instructions to prevent the 11 suspended lawmakers from entering the premises. In a show of solidarity with the suspended lawmakers, the opposition legislators conducted their own session outside the assembly gate, making statements against Maryam Nawaz and the PML-N leadership.
Ahmad Khan Bhachar said, “The government wants to silence us through civil dictatorship, but we will never accept fake Form-47 CM Maryam Nawaz,” while addressing the charged Members of the Provincial Assembly.
At his speech, the PTI lawmakers shouted slogans like “mandate thieves” and accused Maryam Nawaz’s father and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, of corruption.
In addition, the PTI lawmakers initiated a privilege motion against Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Ahmad Khan, alleging that he had succumbed to “submitting to CM Maryam’s pressure” to suspend opposition members. PTI lawmaker Sheikh Imtiaz went as far as introducing a resolution demanding a change in the name of the Nawaz Sharif Cardiology Hospital.
Mohammad Naeem, a Member of Provincial Assembly, said that the government’s decision to close the opposition leader’s chamber was the first time in Pakistan’s history, according to a report by Dawn.
As the Punjab Assembly Speaker Malik Ahmad Khan continued the budget 2024-25 debate during the House proceedings, a group of 10 to 12 opposition members, headed by Rana Aftab, entered the chamber to take part in the discussions. When Aftab stood up to address the issue, the treasury members responded in kind.
Aftab appealed to the chair to take action against the treasury members involved in the disorderly conduct, asking, “whether they too would face suspension.” Subsequently, the opposition members staged a walkout from the House.
Punjab’s Information Minister, Azma Bukhari who led the treasury’s protest against the opposition, declared that opposition members would be denied the right to speak if they interrupted the leader of the House’s speech.
The budget was passed by the House, and the speaker adjourned the proceedings indefinitely.
(With inputs from agencies)





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