ISLAMABAD - In a sudden volte-face, PTI chief Imran Khan yesterday announced to end boycott of the parliament saying that his party members will attend the fresh sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday (today).

Earlier, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had announced boycotting the parliament until the party gets justice from the Supreme Court in Panama leaks case involving the prime minister and his family.

The PTI had boycotted the assembly just before the joint sitting of the parliament on Kashmir that continued from October 5 to October 7. Some opposition parties had said they would move a motion against PTI lawmakers to de-seat them after their 40 days continuous absence from the house.

“Our parliamentary party has decided to go to the parliament in tomorrow’s session (of the National Assembly) to file two motions, a privilege motion and an adjournment motion, against the prime minister for lying in the parliament over the Panama leaks issue,” Khan told reporters outside his Bani Gala residence.

Speaking after the conclusion of the parliamentary party meeting, he said the prime minister lied on the floor of the National Assembly about his offshore wealth when the opposition parties sought clarification from him in connection with Panama Papers.

“The first lie was that when he (Nawaz) said they bought Mayfair properties in London with the money they got from the sale of Gulf Steel Mills and the second was when he said that they had all documents of the money trail of this deal,” the PTI chairman said.

“PTI lawyers now have proved in the Supreme Court that Gulf Steel Mills was suffering losses in the 1980s and then from where the money came. PML-N lawyers have taken a stance that the speech of the prime minister was a political statement, as they have no documents of the purchase,” he said. They said that all deals were done through parchis (plain papers having no legal value) at that time, he added.

Imran Khan said the prime minister not only lied to the parliamentarians but also to the masses despite the fact that a premier is supposed to have higher standards of morality than other people. “Why should we show confidence in a prime minister when he is a liar?” he asked.

The PTI chief said that now his party would see how the parliament behaves regarding their privilege motion against the PM.

“Earlier, we were blamed that the PTI was inviting the army to intervene whenever we came on the roads for protest,” he said.

He alleged that the National Assembly speaker also showed partiality in connection with the decision of a reference against the prime minister. “But now we will see whether or not the parliament would seek answers from the prime minister,” he said, adding that the motions would also be a test for the other opposition parties.

Khan also hinted that the PTI would again go for protest saying that when this time around the PTI would come on the streets, no one would say that it was inviting the army as everyone has understood that the prime minister was involved in the Panamagate.

Responding a question that whether PTI would partially or fully end the boycott of the National Assembly, Imran Khan said they would see what parliament would do with their privilege motion and then make their own future plan of action.

“We were out of the parliament as the PM himself was discrediting it. What is the use of the parliament when opposition cannot seek answers from the prime minister?” he questioned.

PTI chief said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India wanted to isolate Pakistan and the PTI was in distress over the treatment meted out to Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz in India during his participation in Heart of Asia Conference.

“What was the need of sending the adviser to India when it had boycotted the Sarrc conference? Relations between India and Pakistan had been damaged because of Nawaz Sharif’s personal relations with Modi,” he said.

Imran Khan said that Qatari princes, who are being treated as special guests by the Sharif family, were violating the law of Pakistan by hunting houbara bustards - an endangered species.

He held that Nawaz Sharif had ruined all state institutions and now he wanted to ruin the Supreme Court and the Pakistan Army. “He wants to control both the Supreme Court and the army.”

Answering a question, PTI chairman said he was disappointed with the apex court for not deciding Panama Papers case at the earliest.

PTI Vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi also said that PTI’s motions were a test for the parliament. Responding a question about PTI’s alliance with PPP over the latter’s likely anti-government campaign after December 27, Qureshi said PPP leadership was divided over the anti-government movement.

“PPP leaders including Aitzaz Ahsan and Sherry Rehman wanted tough campaign against the government over Panama Papers while its other leaders including Yousaf Raza Gilani wanted an underhand deal with the government through this movement. We will wait for December 27,” he said.

 

 

PTI takes U-turn on Parliament boycott