LAHORE   -   Opposing extension in tenure of military courts, the joint opposition has demanded convening in-camera session of the parliament for briefing on National Action Plan and consultation to ascertain that  whether the circumstances needed such ‘extra constitutional arrangements’ or not.

Briefing the media after consultative meeting of opposition parties at Model Town residence of Shehbaz Sharif yesterday, former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi termed the law governing military courts a black law, saying such arrangements were only for specific circumstances. The PML-N convened the meeting for getting input from other opposition parties on the issue of appointment of two members of Election Commission of Pakistan. JUI-F’s Maulana Assadur Rehman attended the meeting participated by PML-N’s law makers. PPP’s Khursheed Shah could not attend the meeting. He was consulted by the host on telephone.

Flanked by Ahsan Iqbal, Rana Sanaullah and Marriyum Aurangzeb, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi demanded the government to brief the parliament about the prevailing situation. The decision on extension in tenure of military courts could be taken only after in-camera session of the parliament, he said, adding, the party view about military courts and NAB was the same.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan knows nothing about law and the constitution. He (PM) is habitual of taking decisions without consultation. He has adopted the same attitude in the matter of appointment of ECP members. We want meaningful consultation described in the law,” he said. He accused the PM of telling lies.

“The economy is on the verge of bankruptcy. But it is not due to NFC Award but wrong economic policies of the present regime. Like the economy, PM is morally bankrupt,” Abbasi said, adding, if the PM desired any change in the NFC Award, he should sit with chief executives of all federating units.

“He (PM) has own chief ministers in three provinces. He can made changes in the NFC Award but only through consultation with all four provinces,” he said. Abbasi asked the rulers that why they were worried on treatment of Nawaz Sharif and removal of name of Shehbaz Sharif from the exit control list.

He asked the PM to give names of those seeking NRO. He questioned that whether PM was competent to give such a favour to anyone. He said the PM himself would soon be seeking NRO. Abbasi said that the terrified and confused government had yet not initiated debate on any national issue in the parliament. “We have asked the speaker many times for convening assembly session. On every occasion he refused to do so while quoting the reason of pressure. But he has never mentioned the exact source of that pressure,” he said.

The meeting discussed overall political situation, economy of the country and future strategy. Rejecting the recent hike in POL prices, the participants termed it a tyranny and anti-people move of the government. The opposition decided to protest against hike in electricity, gas tariff, prices of petroleum, medicines and basic amenities of life during the next session of the parliament. The meeting also expressed concerns over reports of considerable increase in loadshedding during this summer, saying it was all due to incapability of the rulers as enough electricity was already available in the system. The participants also expressed concerns over daily increase of Rs2 billion in circular debt. The participants also decided to convene the meeting of parliamentary committee constituted to probe alleged rigging in last general elections. The participants constituted a committee headed by Khursheed Shah to finalize candidates for ECP members from Sindh and Balochistan.