The opposition on Thursday staged a walkout and lashed out at the government as President Arif Alvi addressed a joint sitting of the Parliament to recount the performance of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government during the past two years.
“The joint session [of parliament] has been convened at 12am as if someone is going to commit a robbery,” Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif said, while addressing a news conference along with other opposition members outside the Parliament.
The PML-N leader said the poor man had been the hardest-hit during the last two years and that the PTI government had led the country’s economy towards destruction.
“The president’s speech is ‘a pack of lies’ and he has lost his constitutional legitimacy. The ruling party has failed on the mircro and macro level,” he said.
Asif noted that the opposition would announce a joint strategy against the government after Ashura and added that the government had allowed those responsible for creating sugar and wheat crisis in the country to flee.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Raja Pervez Ashraf also criticised the government’s move to call a joint session of the Parliament late night saying the lawmakers had to travel long distances for the purpose.
Ashraf said that a more “incompetent government” than the PTI had not come to power in the history of the country.
“Answer the youth to whom you had promised provision of 10 million jobs. Where are the 10 million jobs and five million homes,” he questioned.
The former premier maintained that the inflation was skyrocketing and the common man had been running from pillar to post to earn his bread.
Commenting on President Alvi’s speech, he said it was the discourse of a PTI worker and not of a president.
He observed that the political parties of the country were being subjected to injustice and added that the opposition was united and would continue its struggle.
He said the people had understood the government and now the masses regretted that they had voted for the PTI.
“Imran Khan and Pakistan cannot go together. Whatever legislation is done, if it is in the interest of the country, we will support [the government],” he said.
“APC (All Parties Conference) will be held and will be held in a full-fledged manner,” he added.
Senator Sherry Rehman declared that the government was introducing a “worse” law under the pretext of meeting the FATF requirements, which they had amended.
She recalled that the PTI before coming to power had vowed to break the begging bowl and provide jobs to the people.
“We stand with all those labourers who are in dire straits,” she said.
Censuring the government, the PPP leader said the prime minister did not hold any meeting with the opposition on Kashmir and FATF.
She further pointed out that the gas rates had hiked by 225%, while the price of petrol increased in the country and decreased globally.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri claimed that the government had “failed” by all means and its foreign policy had been “flawed”.
Asif Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif did not attend the joint session of the Parliament.