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Institutions have their own way of functioning, they do not become subordinates to individuals: Zafarullah Khan Jamali

06 October, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The government faced embarrassment in the National Assembly on Thursday when, one after the other, members from the treasury benches lashed out at their political leadership.

Soon after the lower house of parliament approved two amendments to the recently-passed Elections Act, former prime minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali, who joined the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after being elected as an independent candidate in the 2013 polls, fired the first salvo by asking Nawaz Sharif to fulfil his commitment to accept the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case.

Regretting the “indirect war” being waged against institutions, the veteran lawmaker from Balochistan said: “Institutions have their own way of functioning, they do not become subordinates to individuals”.

He also criticised Mr Sharif’s oft-repeated claim that he had been voted to power by 200 million people and a few judges could not send him home.

Informing the house that he was not in the best of health, Mr Jamali bitterly wished for the demise of these “rejected assemblies” before his death.

Criticising the PML-N’s style of governance, he regretted that important ministries had remained ‘headless’ for years. He also blasted the government for maligning the armed forces and reminded the house that it was the army that came to rescue the country when natural calamities such as floods and earthquakes struck.

The courts, he said, were the last refuge of every citizen.

He said he had advised the former prime minister to replace members of his cabinet who had failed to deliver, but regretted that this was never done.

Soon after Mr Jamali’s fiery speech, Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada came down hard on the government for what he termed “insulting me and other members of parliament”.

He took issue with the purported list of 37 parliamentarians, which included his name, who were accused of having links with terrorist and sectarian organisations, which had gone viral on social media.

He said the list was prepared by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on an initiative taken by Prime Minister House. “Why did the PM House not hold an inquiry? If I am guilty, why was I appointed a federal minister?”

Speaker Ayaz Sadiq tried to calm the enraged member, saying that he (Pirzada) was in Iraq when IB moved the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority against the ‘fake document’, adding that the matter was sub judice.

He also invited the minister to his chambers on Friday, saying that he would also invite the IB director general to clear the air. This offer did not seem to satisfy Mr Pirzada, however, and the irate minister continued his protest.

“My children are receiving messages saying that your elders are terrorists,” he remarked.

He regretted that IB Director General Aftab Sultan, who had defamed lawmakers, was also being considered for appointment as chairman of the National Accountability Bureau before walking out of the house.

He was accompanied by more than a dozen government-allied lawmakers and cabinet members, including Sheikh Rohale Asghar, Awais Leghari and Khusro Bakhtiyar.

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