ISLAMABAD - The opposition in the Wednesday’s National Assembly lent an olive branch to the government promising support on national issues but harshly criticised the ruling party’s policies.

Both the main opposition leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Shehbaz Sharif advised the incumbent government to come out of ‘opposition mode’.

The government side welcoming the supportive move warned those involved in plundering the nation would not be pardoned.

Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, on point of order, asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to explain his statement about him for taking NRO. “Who had asked for NRO and when it happened,” the opposition leader asked and cursed on taking NRO.

Sharif, in his speech, twice challenged the government to prove him wrong in the matters related to his previous government’s era. “I will quit politics forever if proved wrong,” the opposition leader said and challenged Information Minister Fawad Chaudhary to prove him wrong about his claim for installing cheap electricity project in the PML-N era.

Shehbaz strongly criticised the PTI’s government policies for tackling internal and external matters of the country. “Price-hike and increase in electricity and gas prices have exposed the performance of government,” he said and alleged that the present government had taken the rein of the country through rigged polls.

About Prime Minister’s comment against him for trying to become Nelson Mandela, he said that Mandela had given many sacrifices and he never made false claims. “I am a servant of Pakistan and won’t take any U-turn,” he said. 

The house also saw an interesting situation when Shehbaz in emotional tone mistakenly warned PPP-P instead of PTI to avoid creating mess in the country. On this, lawmakers from both sides laughed at this slip of tongue and PPP-P’s Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari also signalled satirically.

About Saudi government’s package, Sharif said all the country should express their gratitude.”This assistance not only for the government but for the entire country,” the opposition leader said, advising the government to make good relations with friendly countries.

He said that they were not afraid of facing bars and fake cases against them. “These threats cannot terrorise us, as we have already faced these difficulties,” he said.

The opposition leader also strongly denounced the recent wave of violence unleashed by Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir. He said that Pakistan should raise the Kashmir dispute at the forum of the United Nations. “We should demand the UN to send its fact finding mission to the Occupied Kashmir and cases should be registered against those involved in it,” he added. He also asked the government to send official delegations comprising members of the Opposition and the government to important capitals to inform them about the prevailing situation in Occupied Kashmir.

He asked that PM Khan had met NAB chairman under what capacity because he was wanted by in the helicopter case. “The NAB chairman had met PM Khan in the capacity of a suspect or as the Leader of the House,” he questioned. He asked the government to resolve the issue of country in a serious manner.

ASIF ALI ZARDARI ASSURES SUPPORT TO PTI’S GOVERNMENT

PPP-P’s Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in his first address to the current National Assembly said that opposition was ready to support the government to deal with the ongoing issues. “Come in government in government mode...We will support you [government] as government and the opposition should sit together to formulate a long term plan about economic issues,” said Zardari, mentioning that he was addressing the house after a long time.

About country’s economic issues. he commented that said the questions regarding fairness of elections even raised in developed countries including USA and UK. “But the democracy is the best solution and this is time to jointly resolve the country’s issue setting aside differences,” he said, mentioning that there was a need of one-solution to put the country on right track.

Zardari also spoke against the short-term policies to resolve the issues of country.”We should sit together and prepare a long-term plan for the next 20 to 25 years to bring the country out of the present crisis,” he said.

He claimed that his party [PPP-P] had been ready to work with Sharif’s government and they were also ready to support the present government. He said that there was a need to take some concrete steps to resolve the economic issue of the country. “I have been behind the bars for 12 years...Lets forget about the past,” he said, mentioning that they have to make Pakistan a strong country.

Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood responding the statement of PPP-P Co-chairman welcomed the supportive move. “This spirit of cooperation can only take forward the country. If the opposition extends a hand of cooperation we will positively reciprocate to it,” he said.

The minister said that there was a need of a ‘charter of economy’ to address the national economic issues through consensus. However, he said that those involved in plundering the nation should not be pardoned.

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, responding to the points of Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif, clarified that the present government had never been against the mega corridor project. “I in the previous government era, as a Chief Minister KP had only demanded his province’s due share in the CPEC,” he said.

Khattak said that they [government] were against the corruption. “We do not want the NAB to malign the people,” the minister said, mentioning that he was also facing investigation in some cases but not making hue and cry.