Home Latest News PTI-Led Government ‘Pressuring’ Allies to Attend Joint Session: Fazl

PTI-Led Government ‘Pressuring’ Allies to Attend Joint Session: Fazl

by Newsweek Pakistan

Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Photo courtesy JUIF

PDM chief alleged opposition lawmakers being called to stay away from joint sitting to boost government numbers

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government is “pressuring” its allied parties to attend a joint session of Parliament on Nov. 17 (today), Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman claimed on Tuesday, adding that opposition lawmakers were being “phoned” to stay home.

President Arif Alvi has summoned a joint sitting of Parliament for today (Wednesday) at 12 p.m. According to PTI lawmakers, they hope to pass over two-dozen pending bills, including the controversial use of electronic voting machines in general elections; amendments to the NAB ordinance; internet voting for overseas Pakistanis; and autonomy for the State Bank of Pakistan.

In a press conference from Quetta, Fazl alleged that the joint session was an attempt by the “incompetent rulers” to extend their rule. “The incumbent government is ruling on a ‘fake’ majority,” he said, adding that struggling against this was akin to “jihad”.

Alleging that opposition lawmakers were receiving calls to stay home from the joint session to boost the government’s numbers, the PDM chief—who also heads his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam—claimed that “someone” was “pulling the strings” of the government, which he reiterated could not function independently. In a message to the government, he said that legislation introduced through coercion had no value.

To a question on a recent meeting between himself and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari—the party parted ways with the PDM in April—Fazl said his door was not closed to anyone and he was willing to meet all opposition lawmakers.

He also emphasized that the opposition was preparing a strategy to challenge the government’s “controversial” bills before the Supreme Court. It would also, in the coming days, continue protests nationwide against rampant inflation.

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