ISLAMABAD - Taking prompt notice of the Leader of Opposition’s arrest, the joint Opposition demanded immediate summoning of the National Assembly session to discuss the matter and in this regard, submitted a formal requisition to the NA Speaker Asad Qaisar.

A PML-N and Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal delegation led by Leader of Opposition in Senate Raja Zafarul Haq met NA Speaker Asad Qasir at his residence and formally handed over a requisition signed by 90 PML-N and MMA MNAs seeking early calling of National Assembly session over the Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif’s arrest by NAB authorities.

It is stated in the requisition that a debate be held in National Assembly over arrest of Shehbaz Sharif to ascertain its legality. Shehbaz Sharif was fully cooperating in the inquiries pertaining to alleged irregularities in Ashiana Housing and clean drinking water schemes and his arrest in these inquiries seemed politically motivated, a senior PML-N leader said.

Besides Raja Zafarul Haq, former speaker NA Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Murtaza Javid Abbasi, Rana Tanvir and MMA Secretary General Moulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri also met the NA Speaker and took up the issue with him.

Before meeting the Speaker, PML-N leaders had talked to MMA chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman and PPP central leader Syed Khursheed Shah and both had fully backed the move and had expressed their concern over this unwarranted extreme step against the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly.

Talking to media after submitting the requisition, PML-N leader Zafarul Haq said, “Shehbaz was arrested without any reason.” Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said, “We have requisitioned the NA session after consultation with the opposition parties’ leaders”.

Hoping that a National Assembly session will be called in the next two days, the PML-N leader said, “The requisition was officially submitted on October 6 which means the session has to be called within 14 days from the date of submission of the requisition.” “However, we have requested the Speaker to not wait for the 14 days and call the session as soon as possible," he added.

“I will try contacting Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and speak to them about not creating any hindrance,” Sadiq added. “Sharif was called for interrogation in ‘Saaf Pani’ case and detained in the Ashiana Housing case. This is a case in which Shehbaz Sharif had cancelled the contract and given the same to anti-corruption unit,” he said, adding that “not even a single penny of the government was lost”.

“This is political victimisation and statements from ministers prove that”, Sadiq asserted.

“What is happening is not only in front of the people of Pakistan but the entire world”, he said.

The PPP central leader Syed Khursheed Shah, who was in Sukkur, fully backed the opposition’s move to requisition the National Assembly session and informed that party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had also supported the move.

He said that the joint opposition would give tough time to the government and would not let it victimise the opposition parties in the name of accountability.

Syed Khursheed Shah while terming the arrest a serious matter said that Leader of Opposition was an important component of the Parliament and such an extreme step by the government required explanation on the floor of the House for which the government must immediately call the National Assembly session.

On the other hand, opposition parties’ parliamentary parties’ heads in the Senate would be meeting ahead of the ongoing session of the Upper House when it will meet on Monday to devise a joint strategy on the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif.

Meanwhile, the PTI government rejected opposition parties’ criticism on the arrest of Leader of Opposition in National Assembly and dissociated it from the NAB action.

Federal Finance Minister Asad Umar said that PTI government had no role in arrest of former Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif. National Accountability Bureau (NAB) is an independent institution of the country, he stated while talking to a private news channel.

The arrest of Shehbaz Sharif for alleged involvement in Ashiana Housing Scheme scam is made according to law of the country, he added.