Opposition parties in the Senate on Wednesday held a protest session outside the Parliament House to protest against the conduct of Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the Senate following a controversy over the number of civilian deaths due to the missile strikes in the tribal areas.
Speaking at the session, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani said that 32 members are present in the session and therefore the quorum is full.
Criticizing the way government is conducting sessions in the parliament, Rabbani said that the government has violated all parliamentary traditions and norms, adding that the parliament in Pakistan is being held hostage by it’s current majority .
“We will not let the government run away. We will expose the government and there will talk on the price hike of essential commodities, increased tariffs on electricity and gas and an increase in the prices of petroleum products,” said the PPP Senator.
He regretted that one person had made the entire government and parliament hostage by making it an issue of his ego.
“He may not aplogise to us but he should withdraw the wrong information he shared with the Senate. The government is following a policy of double standards: first it presented figures of civilian casualties of drone strikes that supported and strengthened the US position on drones; secondly the interior minister is not ready to take back these figures,” Rabbani noted.
The unprecedented standoff in the Senate between the joint opposition and Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan took a new turn on Tuesday when the leader of the opposition Senator Aitzaz Ahsan announced that they would hold the Senate session on Wednesday under the open sky outside the Parliament House.
The agenda prepared by the opposition parties for discussions in the Senate session outside the parliament would include US drone attacks, inflation, security situation in the country, missing persons, rehabilitation of the quake-affected people, FATA, the Karachi situation, the interior minister’s attitude and the privatization of the state enterprises.
The opposition, which enjoys a clear majority in the House, persisted with its continuing boycott of the proceedings on Tuesday aamid calls by MQM’s Tahir Hussain Mashhadi that the interior minister should be asked to put aside his ego, come to the Senate and withdraw the “wrong information” he shared with the House.