ISLAMABAD - Central Leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Dr Shireen Mazari yesterday termed the statement of Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah as incorrect that she was instrumental behind the joint opposition’s walkout from the National Assembly immediately after the prime minister’s speech.

It was the unanimous decision of the joint opposition that the opposition benches would hold a protest walkout from the National Assembly if the premier did not answer the seven questions with regard to Panama Leaks, said PTI MNA Dr Shireen Mazari while talking to The Nation.

Syed Khursheed Shah in his interview to a TV channel alleged that Dr Mazari even stressed him to make the speech short so that they would hold walkout immediately. Shah also said that PTI was the biggest proponent of the walkout. “This is absolutely incorrect statement and I am surprised to see this allegation from Shah,” said Dr Mazari who also the spokesman to Chairman PTI Imran Khan. Some TV channel even aired the footage showing Dr Mazari that she was very quick to go out of the NA hall while picking her handbag.

While narrating the inside story of the joint opposition’s meeting headed by Khursheed Shah before Monday’s session of the National Assembly, she said that PTI had asked other opposition parties that Chairman PTI should be given the opportunity to speak on the floor of NA before or after the speech of PM. “We had stressed that Imran Khan wants to speak on point of personal explanation as now the issue has become Imran Khan versus Nawaz,” she said. But the opposition parties including PML-Q, MQM, PPP, ANP and Aftab Sherpao’s Qaumi Watan Party stressed that they should not detract the speech of Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan should avoid speaking. She reminded that Imran Khan had also brought his notes to speak but avoided in the interest of the decision of joint opposition. Then Khursheed Shah said that he would speak for 15 minutes after the speech of PM but all decided with consensus that he should speak only for two minutes.

Shireen Mazari informed that opposition even some days earlier in a meeting headed by PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan had decided that they would stage a walkout if PM did not answer their questions. Shah was ill at that time, she said. 

The opposition’s decision to stage a walkout immediately from the PM’s speech invited criticism from political circles and the social media both with the argument that opposition should have answered the speech of PM in the house.