Imran says Speaker NA not impartial

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Sophia Siddiqui

Islamabad—The opposition staged a walkout from the National Assembly and boycotted the session over the reference sent by the Speaker to the ECP against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan addressed the National Assembly on Wednesday speaking at length about the references filed against him in the Election Commission of Pakistan.
“I wished Ayaz Sadiq was here. I would have asked him several questions,” he said hinting at the National Assembly Speaker’s decision to ignore references filed against the prime minister and forwarding references filed against the PTI chief to the ECP. “I do not consider Ayaz Sadiq the assembly speaker anymore.”
“I have revealed all of my assets in the ECP in 2013. Six years after I bought my flat (in London) I found the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital,” he said.
He criticized the prime minister for avoiding accountability for the Panama Leaks. “If his hands are clean, why is he running away from the ToRs.”
He said that one needs to pay attention to the concept of democracy. “Only by electing representatives democracy is not applied. One needs to pay attention to democratic institutions.”
He added that whenever public money is plundered, hue and cry is raised. “Take the example of the United Kingdom where the Prime Minister David Cameron appeared in the parliament after his father’s name appeared in the Panama Papers.”
Imran Khan said that he was just doing his job. “I am the opposition and I have to keep checks and balances on the government.”
Supporting his decision to lead street protests he said that the party had already approached the Supreme Court, Federal Bureau of Revenue, and the National Accountability Bureau, but failed to received justice. “When justice is denied people become violent.”
“Whenever we ask the prime minister to be accountable for Panama Leaks, he goes around cutting ribbons,” he said, hinting at premier’s trips to inaugurate development projects.
Imran held two rallies this week, the first in Lahore and the second in Karachi, both demanding that the prime minister be held accountable over his alleged links to offshore accounts named in the Panama Papers.
He has threatened to march to Raiwind, the prime minister’s residence with his supporters. However speaking to the media today he said that he might reconsider his decision.
The NA expunged PTI chief’s remarks about the speaker from its records.
The Pakistan People’s Party leader Khursheed Shah supported Imran Khan’s decision. “We will also stage a walkout,” he said. However the PPP later returned to attend the session.
Responding to the criticism of the PTI Chairman, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said that Speaker Ayaz Sadiq is dispensing his duties with honesty and impartiality. He said the speaker’s decision on the disqualification references filed against the Prime Minister and the PTI Chairman is correct and this House endorses his decision.
The minister said that it is the habit of the PTI Chairman to attack the person of Speaker and also hurled allegations of rigging on him. But he said it is the same