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Pakistan MPs conduct 'session' to condemn Bugti killing

Islamabad, Aug 29 (IANS) Pakistan's opposition MPs created history by continuing the session long after the National Assembly was officially adjourned to condemn the killing of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and pass a resolution on the issue.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006 | 11:02:04 AM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Islamabad, Aug 29 (IANS) Pakistan's opposition MPs created history by continuing the session long after the National Assembly was officially adjourned to condemn the killing of Baloch leader Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and pass a resolution on the issue.

They continued the proceedings Monday and shouted slogans like 'Qatil, qatil, General qatil' (down with killer general) and 'Khoon ka hisab do zulm ka jawab do' (account for killing and repression).

Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain had adjourned the house within two minutes after saying prayers from the Quran, making no reference to Bugti, who was killed in a military operation in Balochistan late Saturday.

The News International called it an 'assembly within an assembly' and said this was a new precedent of members conducting proceedings.

The opposition leaders, including Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Hafiz Hussain Ahmed, Imran Khan, Mehmood Khan Achackzai, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Sherry Rehman, gathered in front of the rostrum of the speaker to form the 'assembly within the assembly'.

Liaqat Baloch was nominated as the presiding officer to conduct the session and adopted a resolution condemning the killing of Bugti.

Although microphones were switched off after the adjournment, speeches continued and the media in the jam-packed press gallery continued to report.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, who has completed two years in office, stayed away from the house.

The Nation newspaper said the opposition announced that it would register a first information report (FIR) against Musharraf and other military officers for what it called Bugti's 'targeted' killing.

It was not a murder of an individual but of democracy and it would have adverse impact on the country's politics, the opposition members warned.

The resolution expressed sympathies with the family of Akbar Bugti and demanded that his body be handed over to them, military operations in Balochistan be stopped and the dialogue option be exercised to find a solution to the problems.

The resolution read: 'The National Assembly meeting strongly condemns the ongoing operation in Balochistan and the resultant death of former MNA and former chief minister Balochistan Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti and his companions in the recent catastrophic, horrible and worst action in Kohlu.'

The News International noted: 'Interestingly, the state-owned PTV continued recording the 'session'. This was a smart move of the opposition to counter the clever government strategy to avoid a certain protest by the opposition.'

When security staff asked visitors in the galleries to vacate the premises, the opposition asked them to remain to witness the 'session'.

Minister for Provincial Coordination Saleem Saifullah and Minister of State for Information Tariq Azeem and some other members from treasury benches remained in the house even after it was adjourned. However, they left when the pitch and intensity of the slogans of the opposition increased.

Six ruling party legislators Riaz Hussain Peerzada, Malik Farooq Azam, Makhdoom Ahmed Alam Anwer, Meena Leghari, Asiya Azeem and Akhtar Khan Kanju, however, continued to be seated to listen to the speeches of the opposition leaders. They, too, left when chief whip of the ruling c

Copyright : Indo-Asian News Service
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