OPPOSITION STAGES WALKOUT IN NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
From Our Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: Opposition members staged a walkout after Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif called Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MNA Ayesha Gulalai a ‘thief’ during National Assembly proceedings here yesterday. Speaking about the PTI workers protest against PESCO, Khawaja Asif remarked that around 89 percent electricity was stolen from the feeders of the areas, whose leaders were protesting. About 91 percent electricity was stolen from its neighbouring areas. “If thieves continue to protest then it ridicules the system,” he remarked, adding “I reject the words of the ones who lead thieves” while taking a jibe at Gulalai, who lead the protest in Peshawar. Meanwhile, PTI leader Gulalai said that “billions of rupees are taken from the people but no electricity is given to them. Electricity is not supplied to the nation and then the people are called thieves.” In the matter, Opposition leader Khursheed Shah said that “electricity is being stolen across the country, but it is important to respect one another.” “If you call a MNA a thief [for electricity being stolen from her area], then what about those stealing electricity in Lahore,” he remarked. On this, the opposition leaders chanted slogans of ‘Nawaz Sharif Chor (Nawaz Sharif is a thief),’ and ‘Shehbaz Sharif Chor (Shehbaz Sharif is a thief).’ To this, Khursheed Shah responded that those against the parliament should say nothing as people who are against democracy use these same slogans to their advantage. If we keep calling each other thieves, then others will have no problem labeling us thieves, he added. He also said that “they (government members) call people thieves and then ask them for votes. Words which preserve the respect of the parliament should only be used in the court.” The PTI members then asked Khawaja Asif to apologise to Gulalai after which they staged a walkout. Upon which, Khursheed Shah said that calling other MNAs with different names is not just the matter of one party. Later on, all opposition parties staged a walk out.