The women lawmakers belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), who had resigned from the National Assembly en masse earlier in April, staged a protest outside the Parliament House in Islamabad on Thursday.
MNAs Aliya Hamza, Kanwal Shauzab and Maleeka Bokhari led the protest. Some of the protesters also carried utensils to the site of the demonstration. In a bid to ward off any untoward incident, police personnel also reached the site of the protest. The demonstration was held against the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which removes the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and disallows overseas Pakistanis from voting in the next general election and amendments to the NAB law.
After being denied entry, the protesters scaled the parliament gate to enter the premises and chanted slogans against the coalition government led by the PML-N. Meanwhile, PTI senators also boycotted the joint sitting of parliament. Last week, President Arif Alvi, who belongs to the PTI, returned the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill 2021 And Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022, observing that Article 46 of the constitution had been violated as he was not informed about bringing these legislations to parliament. On May 27, the Senate had passed the two significant bills, a day after they were cleared by the lower house of parliament. However, the joint sitting of parliament on Thursday passed both the bills.
Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Thursday came down hard on the PTI women lawmakers “for leading a mob to attack the parliament” from where they were drawing salaries despite tendering en mass resignation in April. “The PTI [women] lawmakers attacked the Parliament for which they do not work, but draw their salaries,” she said while talking to the media outside the Parliament House.
She said today a dramatic scene was created outside the Parliament House by the women parliamentarians, who had been advised by the National Assembly (NA) speaker to verify their resignations in person. Marriyum said they better verify their resignations by appearing before the NA speaker instead of “scaling the gate of Parliament House.” She said no parliamentarian was stopped from entering the Parliament House today (Thursday), but the PTI legislators staged a drama. It was in fact an attack on the Parliament.
“The NA speaker has been waiting for them to verify their resignation, but no PTI member has turned up so far in order to continue enjoying the perks and privileges,” she added. The minister lashed out at the PTI leaders for making statements about the country’s disintegration and denuclearization, and attacking the Parliament and the apex court.