Imran Khan sails through Parliament test


The joint session of Pakistan Parliament was an opportunity for Prime Minister Imran Khan to prove his majority in Parliament, which he did.

With the support of 221 votes of his party members and that of the allies, the government cruised through the session amid the Opposition’s protest, Express Tribune reported.

Despite the opposition lawmakers’ speeches, urging the National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to adjourn the session so that both the sides could sit together and deliberate upon the agenda items; their hue and cry; sloganeering; surrounding of Speaker’s desk; tearing of the papers and heated arguments with him, the government moved ahead with the legislative business and passed 33 bills, the report said.

The Pakistan Opposition thought Prime Minister Imran Khan had lost the confidence of his members and the allies in the National Assembly and the Senate. However, he passed through this storm comfortably, the report said.

Last week, the government was defeated twice in the National Assembly and it had to put off the joint sitting of parliament within 24 hours of its summoning, as the allies had distanced themselves from the government.

The Opposition was hoping, once again, the government would not be able to complete the numbers and would, ultimately, fail to pass the legislation for changing the voting system. They had believed that they would have the chance to stop the government just the way they did a week ago.

However, when the votes were counted, the opposition found that its seven members were absent for varying reasons – ranging from health issues to foreign visits, the report said.

The Opposition had been putting up brave face ahead of the joint session of parliament but Wednesday belonged to the treasury.

The joint sitting passed all the required bills, including the two key ones, which deal with holding the next elections via electronic voting machines and allowing overseas Pakistanis the right to vote in the future elections.