Govt Receives Flak From Opposition As National Assembly Debates Expulsion Of French Envoy

ISLAMABAD: June 11 – Parliamentarians listens Federal Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs and Statistics Syed Naveed Qamar presenting the national budget 2008-09 during National Assembly session at Parliament House. The minister presents the Rs. 2010 billion budget and size is 29.7% higher than the size of estimates for 2007-08. APP photo by Afzaal Chaudhry

The government presented a resolution in the National Assembly seeking debate on expulsion of French ambassador from the country as per its agreement with the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). Parliamentarians expressed their views on the matter, with opposition members coming down hard on the government for not holding prior consultations. They also accused the government of mishandling the situation.

Moreover, members spoke at length about how Namoos-e-Risalat is a vital part of their faith.

Pakistan Muslim League – N (PML) leader Ahsan Iqbal asked why Prime Minister Imran Khan was not present in the session. He asked the speaker to adjourn the session and ask government to consult with the opposition first because this resolution should be passed unanimously. He said that the opposition was not consulted by the government.

Federal Minister Asad Umar said that he remembers the attack on Ahsan Iqbal when he was interior minister, adding that he knows Ahsan Iqbal and everyone else in the House believed in Namoos-e-Risalat as much as he himself does. He said that he was certain that the House will collectively raise voice [against Islamophobia and blasphemous caricatures in France].

The minister said that the government has no objection if the debate on the resolution is prolonged so that a consensus can be reached, after which Speaker Asad Qaiser adjourned the session till Friday and told opposition and treasury benches to hold consultations.