Expulsion of French envoy: NA session adjourned till Friday

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ISLAMABAD – National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Tuesday adjourned a session to debate on a resolution, seeking expulsion of French envoy and measures for the protection of the sanctity of Prophet Muhammad, till Friday.

The resolution was tabled by PTI MNA Amjad Ali Khan as a private member after the government and banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) reached a deal in an overnight talks to defuse tension caused by protests in the country.

The resolution condemns the publication of blasphemous caricatures by French magazine Charlie Hebdo last year. It also regretted that French President Emanuel Macron encouraged such elements under the guise of freedom of speech, hurting Muslim across the world.

It further says, a debate should be held on the expulsion of the French envoy, adding that the European Union, especially France, should be informed about the sensitivity of the issue related to sanctity of Prophet.

It also calls for a fruitful discussion should be held with the Muslim countries in order to highlight the issue at international forums.

The resolution further said that the state should decided the matters of related to ties with international community and no person or group can put pressure on it in this regard.

It also asks the provincial governments to allocate a specific place for protests in cities so people could carry out their routine business without any disruption.

After Amjad’s resolution, PTI’s Ali Muhmmad Khan tabled another resolution seeking formation of a special committee to take up the matter. The resolution was adopted despite it was opposed by the Opposition.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s Fiery Speech

PML-N’s Shahid Khaqan Abbasi opposed the formation of special committee, stating that there is no need of any special committee as whole house will discuss on it. He said that entire nation is united for the protection of sanctity of Prophet.

He also lashed out at the NA speaker for calling the session in haste without taking the Opposition into confidence. He also sought time to review the resolution, saying the draft presented by the government is inadequate.

While holding heated exchange with NA speaker, Abbasi went closer to the speaker’s rostrum and threatened him to hit with shoe.

“I too will do the same. Please stay within your limits,” Speaker Asad Qaiser replied to Abbasi.

Ali Muhammad Khan’s Response

Responding to him, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said the government wanted a debate on the matter.

He highlighted that the resolution is based on the deal between the government and the TLP, adding that the government did not intend to change it. However, “whatever the entire House considers appropriate will be made, he said.

JUI-F Says PM’s Speech Adds Fuel to Fire

Addressing the house, JUI-F leader Maulana Asad Mehmood said that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s yesterday speech added a fuel to the fire.

He said that it should be make public that who had held talks with the TLP after the government announced crackdown on it, adding that the agreement should also be made public.

Saying whole nation is united for the  Tahaffuz-i-Namoos-i-Risalat and Khatm-i-Nabuwwat, he said that the second part of the resolution needed to be improved.

Asad Mehmood warned the government against “bulldozing” the resolution through the assembly, adding that he will not let the House run if the opposition is ignored in this matter.

Background

Earlier today, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in a video statement announced that the government will present a resolution on the expulsion of the French envoy in parliament.

On Monday, the speaker adjourned the session till April 22 but it was rescheduled for April 20 after Sheikh Rashid’s statement.

The development comes after a government delegation, comprising the interior minister, Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri and others, held talks with TLP workers amid ongoing protest.

This is a developing story…