Saqib Nisar in crosshairs as Parliament holds high-stakes session


The ruling coalition kicked off the joint parliamentary session on Wednesday by protesting against former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, with chants of “Baba Rehmatay, Baba Zehmatay” echoing through Parliament.

Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was chairing the joint sitting as senators from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf boycotted the meeting, with a majority of opposition members, including PTI lawmakers, were also absent from the session.

Members of the ruling coalition protested against the former chief justice after the emergence earlier this week of a purported audio recording of Saqib Nisar allegedly hurling verbal abuses against Maryam Nawaz, the chief organiser of the PML-N and daughter of PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif.

The parliament was meeting to take important decisions in connection with an ongoing anti-government campaign by former premier Imran Khan’s PTI party as the country struggles to avert financial default with elections just around the corner.

According to the agenda, the joint sitting of the parliament is taking up eight key issues: law and order and terrorism; economic policy; Jammu and Kashmir issue; respect for national institutions; China-Pakistan Economic Corridor; population explosion; climate change impacts; and foreign policy.

The joint session comes as the coalition PDM government has vowed to get tough on the PTI, accusing it of acting like a terrorist outfit and attacking state institutions, including the army, judiciary, and law-enforcement agencies.