Acrimony on display as Pak parliament session begins
Islamabad, August 13
On the first day of the opening session of newly elected National Assembly, vested interests and political compulsions forced Pakistan’s opposition parties into a disjointed and divided mode as Imran Khan is all set to become the prime minister.The two main opposition parties — PML-N and PPP — supposed to contest prime minister and speakership vote jointly against Imran Khan led PTI, remained at arm’s length when the Monday session opened for oath of all members.Former President Asif Ali Zardari, who shares PPP leadership with son Bilawal Bhutto, didn’t shake hands with PML-N President even when sitting in proximity at front rows of Parliament. Neither did Imran Khan exchange any pleasantry with Asif Zardari or Shahbaz Sharif amid speculations that PPP may be low key or withdraw its joint candidate for Speakership in favour of PTI’s Asad Qaiser. Or behave lukewarm towards Shahbaz Sharif’s candidature in voting as he faces Imran Khan for premiership race on August 17. To meet this end, a photo opportunity and handshake was carved out and stage managed between Imran Khan and Bilawal Bhutto in the National Assembly hall as both exchanged pleasantries.Pakistan’s 15th National Assembly commenced on Monday with oath taking of new legislators and to kick start a democratic process that will culminate on Friday after election of new prime minister and Speaker.Imran Khan is all set to become PM by August 17 as he and cabinet members will take oath of office the next day.Shahbaz Sharif, former Punjab chief minister, will become the Opposition leader. And PTI’s Asad Qaiser is expected to easily get elected as Speaker.Imran borrows waistcoat for photo Islamabad: Pakistan’s Prime Minister-in-waiting Imran Khan on Monday borrowed a waistcoat from an employee of the National Assembly to pose for a photograph for his parliamentary registration card, a media report said on Monday. Khan arrived in parliament wearing a traditional white salwar kameez to attend the maiden session of the National Assembly. He first got himself registered at the parliament. He then asked for a waistcoat to pose for a registration card picture, Urdu langauge daily Jang reported.