Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to attend Parliamentary after a long absence and may issue a policy statement in the upcoming joint session, but opposition parties have said that they would give a tough time to the PM on several counts.

Main opposition parties (Pakistan Peoples’ Party & Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf) will raise issues about the legitimacy of approving the federal budget 2016-17 via Skype in a cabinet meeting, reportedly concealing facts in the declaration of assets and passing the budget without announcing the National Finance Commission Award.

PPP and PTI have also recently submitted references against the Prime Minister seeking disqualification of five PML-N leaders including the premier himself and his brother, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

Sources in Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs said the government would seek to block the ‘Panama Papers bill, 2016 (Inquiry and Trial) that was framed to facilitate the investigation of Panama leaks.

On the special instructions of PM, almost all Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz members have been told to ensure their presence both in the upcoming National Assembly and the joint session of parliament.

According to sources, the government will adopt a careful approach in the upcoming sessions to avoid embarrassment, as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to participate in the proceedings.

According to the sources, the federal government has decided to summon a National Assembly session on August 1 seven days before its previous notification to call it on August 8. The purpose of withdrawing NA session on August 8 is to ensure presence of ruling party members to pass ‘The anti-honor killing laws (amendment) bill’ and ‘Anti-rape laws (criminal laws amendment) bill’ in the joint session of parliament, scheduled for August 2.

The sources said that the joint session of parliament would continue for two to three days, till the completion of legislation on both controversial bills. The joint session is expected to be summoned this week.