Erdogan’s speech to Parliament: Opp parties will be present unlike the PTI boycott in 2016
ISLAMABAD: Opposition parties will attend the parliament session to hear the speech of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, unlike the boycott of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of a similar joint meeting that was held three years ago .
“President Erdogan is the guest of all of us, Pakistan, and not just the PTI. Therefore, we will be present at the parliament session to hear his speech on Friday, ”the Pakistan-Nawaz Muslim League leader (PML-N) and former president of the National Assembly, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, told The News.
He said the opposition would never repeat a bad precedent set by the PTI. “Pakistan has excellent relations with the Turkish president, who greatly improved during the PML-N government’s mandate since Ankara also strengthens economic relations.” Ayaz Sadiq said the tension between the opposition parties and the PTI was now no less than it was three years ago. “But in opposing the government, we have not lost consciousness and we are not in the mood to cross all boundaries. Our participation in the joint session will give an excellent message to President Erdogan. “
He said the Turkish president stood out among world leaders in supporting Pakistan when India annexed occupied Kashmir in August last year. Not only that, he has been supporting the cause of Kashmir all along, that Pakistanis value too much.
Last time, President Erdogan visited Pakistan in November 2016 at the invitation of then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The trip took place in the midst of a greater confrontation between the government and the PTI that had intensified due to the 2014 sittings by the PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek.
Imran Khan had said at the time that the PTI lawmakers stayed away from the parliamentary session, led by President Erdogan, because his party no longer considers Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan’s prime minister and the boycott was not due to the Turkish leader.
Ayaz Sadiq said that opposition parties undoubtedly consider Imran Khan as the selected prime minister who closed this office as a result of false general elections, but would still attend the joint session to show respect to President Erdogan. “We have many opportunities and forums to adjust political accounts, but not when a foreign friend is speaking to Parliament.”
While declaring to abstain from the joint session, PTI Vice President Shah Mehmood Qureshi had stated that since the prime minister was controversial for facing corruption charges, his party would boycott the session.
Qureshi said the PTI considered Turkey a “sincere friend” of Pakistan and a brother Islamic State. He also said that his party has great respect for the Turkish president. “But the PTI has a clear perspective on the Panamagate case, being heard by the Supreme Court.”
He said he had been trying to contact the Turkish ambassador in Islamabad, looking for an appointment for a meeting between Erdogan and the PTI leaders. “We want to pay a courtesy call under Imran Khan to the Turkish president during his stay in Pakistan. The PTI would inform the visiting dignitary about his decision to stay away from Parliament and discuss the prospects for better ties between Turkey and Pakistan. “
The PML-N government had tried to persuade the leaders of the PTI to reconsider their decision to boycott as a gesture of goodwill to avoid a possible shame for Pakistan during the visit of the Turkish president.
For his part, Ayaz Sadiq, as a speaker, had also tried to convince the PTI to change his mind and welcome President Erdogan, who is a guest of Pakistan and not just a party. It happened for the first time that the opposition boycotted the parliamentary speech of a foreign friend, who has been with Pakistan in difficult times.