ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Tuesday announced his party's intent to boycott a joint session of parliament that was schedule to be held today Wednesday.
"We have a clear line on the prime minister. We thought if we attend today, we would be endorsing him. But he has lost his moral authority because of the Panama leaks," Chairman stated this while addressing a press conference after the party’s meeting at Bani Gala.
PTI chief said the premier had two options. "Either resign and another PML-N leader can take over as PM. This is what happened in Iceland. There was no damage to democracy," he said. "The other option is he can present himself for accountability on the Terms of Reference that the opposition has put forth." "Nawaz Sharif has held the nation hostage on this one issue," he added.
“Nawaz Sharif has convened the joint sitting of the parliament to save himself from Panama probe,” he said, adding there was no need to call the session. Answering a question Imran Khan also lashed out at National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq for his refusal to forward a reference against Nawaz Sharif to the Election Commission of Pakistan. “I wasn’t named in the Panama Papers and yet my case was referred to the commission,” he lamented.
Imran Khan said that Prime Minister Sharif was doing everything to save himself from accountability in the wake of Panama revelations, which put spotlight on his offshore holdings. To a question, he said that PTI sent its representative in the meeting of parliamentary leaders despite reservations. The party, however, attended All Parties Conference' as it wanted to send a message that all political parties were on the same page when it came to Kashmiris rights and Indian aggression, Imran said. During the APC some parties said the PM had divided the country on Panama instead of uniting it, Imran claimed.
Furthermore, the PTI Chief said that PM's role in the implementation of the National Action Plan was lacking. "We believe Nawaz Sharif has lost legitimacy as PM. He promised to present himself before parliament for accountability six months ago, but still has not done so, Khan reiterated.
The PTI chief added that the party has called a central executive committee meeting in the capital to discuss plans for its upcoming shutdown of Islamabad after Muharram. "We fully back Kashmiris' right to self-determination and sent Shah Mehmood Qureshi to yesterday's meeting of the parliamentary parties' heads," said Imran, questioning if there was anything else left for discussion in the joint session of the parliament.
It was worth mentioning here that joint parliamentary session was called in the wake of heightened Pakistan-India tensions over the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir and skirmishes along the Line of Control (LoC).