Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Friday accused the government of “pushing the opposition against the wall” as he condemned the arrest of his niece Maryam Nawaz and nephew Yousuf Abbas Sharif by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
During his speech on the floor of the National Assembly in an ongoing session of the lower house, Shahbaz repeated his claim that the government and NAB “were in an alliance”. He regretted that Maryam was arrested in front of her father and children.
Shahbaz said: “This is not the first time we have suffered this injustice. My hair has turned white, we have seen all of this before.”“Imran Khan Niazi is deluded if he thinks he can scare us with injustice and cruelty, that he can force Nawaz Sharif and his family to give in,” the PML-N president added.
Shahbaz’s speech was interrupted by sloganeering from the treasury and opposition benches, which irked Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, who was presiding over proceedings. When an opposition member claimed that a “term banned by the speaker was affecting him”, Suri responded: “Nothing is affecting me. The prime minister of this house is elected, just like the opposition leader is elected.”
Suri was referring to the word ‘selected’ that was repeatedly used by the opposition for Prime Minister Imran until National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser ordered that the word be expunged from records and banned its usage.
Continuing with his speech amid the chaos, Shahbaz said that the assembly had decided to present a “united stance” after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to strip occupied Kashmir of its special status but the government, with the arrest of Maryam, had shredded that unity.
“She had been appearing before NAB regularly. She had only asked NAB officials to allow her to appear at 3pm as she had to meet her father in prison,” he told the assembly. “These arrests are meant to divert the nation’s attention from the Kashmir issue, the failing economy and soaring drug prices.”
“I can see that you are giving me looks Mr Speaker,” Shahbaz said when Suri asked him to cut his speech short.