Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

Pak’s Parliament holds emergency session to discuss poll crisis

Police beat a protester during clashes in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Source: AP) Police beat a protester during clashes in Islamabad, Pakistan. (Source: AP)
Press Trust of India | Islamabad | Posted: September 2, 2014 1:53 pm | Updated: September 2, 2014 2:51 pm

Pakistan’s Parliament is holding a joint emergency session on Tuesday to support embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discuss the deepening political crisis that has triggered violence and brought the powerful army at the centre stage.

The joint session of the Senate and the National Assembly will adopt a resolution to support Prime Minister Sharif and urge him not to resign or go on leave as demanded by protest leaders, political sources told PTI.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan wants Sharif’s ouster over alleged rigging in last year’s poll which his party lost, while Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahir-ul Qadri wants to bring a revolution in the country. Both the leaders are agitating since August 14.

The joint sittings are convened only on important occasion or to deal with emergencies.

Pakistani paramilitary troops stand guard during a clash between police and protesters in Islamabad. (Source: AP) Pakistani paramilitary troops stand guard during a clash between police and protesters in Islamabad. (Source: AP)

The idea of the joint sitting was floated by Opposition parties and Sharif endorsed it. The session could continue for several days depending on the will of the parliamentarians.

The weekend saw the anti-government protests morph the high-security Red Zone from a concert ground to a bloody battlefield, with three people killed and over 550 injured.

Most of the opposition parties have supported Prime Minister Sharif in his standoff with Khan and Qadri and stood with the elected the Prime Minister at this critical juncture, showing strength of parliamentary democracy.

A Pakistani protester picks up a tear gas canister to throw back towards police during a clash in Islamabad. (Source: AP) A Pakistani protester picks up a tear gas canister to throw back towards police during a clash in Islamabad. (Source: AP)

The unity might save the career of Sharif who was under immense pressure during the last couple of days to resign or go on leave.

The pressure specially mounted on Monday when protesters occupied the state-run television and army was called to evict them.

It was time when protest leaders made announcements that their followers will get “good news” very soon. Khan went ahead to declare that 2 to 8 hours were crucial.

It also encouraged the protesters who fought relentlessly with police and pushed them back at several places.

By the night some of the rioters reached closer to PM House but they were held back at the last main gate of the lawn of the building.

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