Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that his party respected the office of the National Assembly speaker, but he should also act as the custodian of the house. “The way these joint sessions are being run undermines democracy and the parliament,” he said.
Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the government tried to introduce electoral reforms forcibly without taking the opposition into confidence. He added that the united opposition stood by the Election Commission of Pakistan that has raised several objections on the Electronic Voting Machines.
He added that if the government introduced the EVMs without due consultations, the opposition will not accept the results of the next elections.
“We are not able to conduct electronic voting in the parliament, yet the government expects the Election Commission to ensure that such a system is introduced in the entire country,” he said.
Bilawal said that the opposition would challenge the EVMs in the court. He said that the PPP and PML-N always supported giving voting rights to overseas Pakistanis, but the government wants to do it in a one-sided manner and this way it is not acceptable to the opposition. “How can we accept your idea of giving representation to the overseas Pakistanis when you say a person sitting in France or California can determine the fate of people of Karachi or Multan? ” he said.
The PPP chairman said that the joint session was an attempt to rob the public’s constitutional right to vote and the opposition would not allow it. He further said that the government attempted to give NRO to Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav. “You are trying to use the Parliament to give relief to the Indian spy,” he said, adding that the government should instead provide relief to the people of Pakistan who are facing severe inflation.
He added that the PTI joined hands with the IMF and the common Pakistani was facing an economic crisis due to its policies.