Dawn.com | Nadir Guramani Updated November 12, 2018
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government on Monday once again came under fire in the Senate from opposition lawmakers over its handling of protests by religious parties against the acquittal of Aasia Bibi, with PML-N’s Mushahidullah Khan claiming that the ruling party was merely reaping what it had sowed while it was in opposition.
He alleged that the last time such protests had taken place, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari had participated in the sit-ins. Governments leaders had also exploited the issue to gain votes, he alleged.
It is “divine justice” that the “fire” the ruling party had started has now become impossible for it to extinguish, Mushahidullah said, adding that agreements are now being signed with the people who issued statements against state institutions.
“You hindered a country that was speeding towards progress… but today you are unable to even answer whether Aasia [Bibi] is present in the country or not,” the PML-N leader said while addressing the treasury benches.
“The khatm-e-nabuwwat [protesters] that are your foes today were your friends yesterday… is this not ‘divine justice’?”
After an exchange of hot words with several government members over his criticism of Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who was not present in the house, Mushahidullah resumed his broadside against Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party.
“They say the three-day [TLP] sit-in resulted in a loss of Rs50 billion per day… why don’t they multiply Rs50bn with 126 days?” he said, in a taunting reference to the 126-day sit-in staged by the PTI in 2014.
“Why didn’t you think then that this was causing loss of the country and people?”
PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar in his remarks regretted the situation that arisen from the countrywide protests staged by religiopolitical groups.
“A registered political party crossed the red line,” he said, referring to the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP)
“Are we going to continue tolerating a political party which talks about creating anarchy in the country?” he asked, observing that the Constitution calls for the suspension of a party’s membership if it talks against the country’s sovereignty.
He wondered why the government had opted to “escape” from the national consensus that emerged over the protests and proceeded to enter into a deal with the agitators.
“The interior minister laid all the blame for this on the opposition, which was standing next to you,” he said, addressing the treasury benches.
“The government’s inefficiency spread despair among the people,” he said.
PML-N Senator Mushahidullah Khan speaks in the Senate on Monday. — DawnNewsTV