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'Selected PM' becomes opposition's rallying cry.

Byline: Ahmed Mansoor

ISLAMABAD -- The opposition lawmakers again took up guileful tactics in the National Assembly session on Friday to refer to Prime Minister Imran Khan as 'selected' despite the deputy speaker prohibiting MNAs from using that word for the premier a few days ago, but it was the ruling party that had the last laugh with the passage of the budget.

A day earlier, the opposition MNAs - much to the ire of the speaker - deliberately used the word in different sentences to take a jibe at the premier, who was present in the house.

However, the speaker and the treasury members refrained from responding to the opposition's taunts during Friday's proceedings.

Leading the way this time was Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senior Vice President Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who told Speaker Asad Qaiser that this was probably the only parliament in the world where use of the word 'selected' was barred.

'Every kid on the street is now saying the prime minister and government are selected but we can't say that here,' he remarked. 'But if you don't like it and have placed a ban on it, I won't use the word selected.'

PML-N's Ahsan Iqbal also inserted the word 'selected' in a sentence while speaking on the budget.

'This 'selected' budget should be withdrawn and a people-friendly one should be presented,' he said.

PML-N's Rana Tanveer said he would stop using the word 'selected' for the prime minister of the government manages to achieve the revenue target it had set.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Hina Rabbani Khar said that the opposition would not use the banned term for the premier as people had voted for him. 'But is the prime minister representing his constituents properly?' she asked.

Shazia Marri, Shagufta Jumani and other lawmakers also kept defying the ruling on the word. PML-N's Khurram Dastagir and Marriyum Auranzeb opted to use the word 'incompetent' for government.

Shahida Akhtar Ali of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) said the speaker should suggest an alternative to the word 'selected'.

Chaos had erupted in the house on Thursday when Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif repeatedly used the word 'selected' for the premier in his presence.

The verbal spar between the opposition and treasury benches forced the speaker to expunge the word 'selected' from the proceedings.

Later when the lawmakers settled down, the opposition members continued using the word, albeit in sentences spoken in different contexts, to mock the speaker and the prime minister.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Qadir Patel used the term by saying that he had 'selected a cut motion'.

PML-N's Sheikh Fayyazuddin told the speaker that he would not use the word 'selected' because it was prohibited and after presenting his cut motion, said he had not uttered the word 'selected' unlike others.

Many others followed suit as opposition lawmakers laughed and cheered on their colleagues, who continued to irk the speaker.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jun 29, 2019
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