Talking to reporters after presiding over a meeting of the party office-bearers and parliamentarians at his Banigala residence here on Tuesday, the PTI chairman announced that they had decided to end their boycott of the assembly in order to seek an explanation from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for allegedly making a false statement about his foreign properties on the floor of the house.
The new session of the National Assembly begins on Wednesday (today).
Mr Khan said his party would move an adjournment motion as well as a privilege motion against the prime minister for his act of “lying to the parliament and the nation”.
The PTI announcement came hours after submission of a privilege motion by till a decision of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case. Last week, the Supreme Court deferred the hearing of the case till the first week of January. Despite severe criticism from within and outside the PTI, Mr Khan remained stuck to his decision and the party also boycotted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s address to a joint session of parliament last month.
Accompanied by PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Mr Khan said that through the adjournment motion his party would seek a full-fledged debate on the matter and see how parliamentarians made the prime minister accountable for making a “false statement” in parliament.
He said the PTI would decide its next strategy after seeing the response of parliament to the two motions the party planned to move in the National Assembly.
He claimed that the prime minister had made different statements in the Supreme Court and in parliament. In parliament, he added, the prime minister had stated that he had all the required documents to prove trail of the money used for purchasing properties in London, but in the court his lawyers failed to produce any document.
Moreover, Mr Khan said, the prime minister in his speech had claimed that Mayfair Apartments in London had been purchased from the money they had got after selling Gulf Steel in the UAE. Later the PTI proved in the court that Gulf Steel was actually suffering a loss of 2.6 million dirham, he added.
Mr Khan said Mr Sharif’s lawyers had termed the prime minister’s speech in parliament “a political speech”.
He said the Brazilian president had to face impeachment only because he had provided wrong figures about the budget to parliament. “Here, a prime minister is telling lies to conceal his corruption and properties worth billions of rupees,” he regretted.
In reply to a question, Mr Khan said it was the prime minister who had “discredited” parliament by lying on its floor, and not the PTI. “What will the opposition do in parliament if it cannot make the prime minister answerable there?” he said while responding to a question about criticism his party was facing over the decision to boycott the assembly.
He said that in the past whenever he brought people on roads he was accused of inviting martial law. However, he said, if he again decided to take to the streets, the people would not accuse him of inviting the army.
Mr Khan alleged that after having destroyed each and every institution, PM Sharif was now “eying” the Supreme Court and the army.
“Now Nawaz Sharif wants control over the SC and the army. He wants to convert the army into the Punjab police. I hope these two institutions will not disappoint the nation and will not come under their (rulers’) control,” he added.
He said he was disappointed with the apex court as he wanted a day-to-day hearing of the Panama Papers case. However, he said the PTI would wait for a final outcome of the case in the court.
Answering a question about the possibility of joining hands with the PPP which also threatened to launch an anti-government drive after Dec 27, Mr Qureshi said the PPP itself was divided over the issue.
He claimed that while the group led by Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and comprising Qamar Zaman Kaira, Aitzaz Ahsan and Sherry Rehman wanted to come out against the government, the other led by former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani wanted to use the issue as a bargaining chip over the issues of Ayyan Ali, arrest of Dr Asim Hussain and corruption cases against the party leadership.
Five PPP legislators, including Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah, on Tuesday submitted a privilege motion against the prime minister for allegedly committing “contempt of the parliament” by making a false statement on the floor of the assembly.
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In a meeting arranged by the organising committee of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Messi held hands with Murtaza at the team hotel before picking up the boy and posing for photographs.
Murtaza was wearing a Barcelona jersey.
“I’m very happy to have met my hero. It is a dream for me,” said Murtaza, in quotes supplied by the World Cup organising committee.
Murtaza, who is now aged 6, will walk out onto the field with the five-time world player of the year before Tuesday’s match.
The boy became an internet sensation early this year when pictures of him playing near his home in eastern Ghazni province were widely circulated.
They showed him wearing a plastic bag in blue-and-white stripes, like the Argentina national team jersey with Messi and the No. 10 written in black marker.
A few weeks later, Messi sent signed Barcelona and Argentina jerseys to Murtaza.
Murtaza’s father, Mohammad Arif Ahmadi, said in May that the family was forced to leave Afghanistan amid constant telephone a misery for us,” said the father at the time, speaking to The Associated Press over the telephone from the Pakistani city of Quetta, where the family had settled.
The meeting between Messi and Murtaza comes at a time when Qatar is introducing long-expected reforms to policies governing its vast foreign-labour force, who labour and human rights activists say are open to abuse by the current system.
Qatar says it is abolishing the