PPP’s Pervez Ashraf sworn in as NA speaker

ISLAMABAD: PPP’s Raja Pervez Ashraf was sworn in as the National Assembly speaker after being elected unopposed for the coveted slot on Saturday.

He was elected as the 22nd speaker of the lower house as no other member submitted nomination papers for the post. Pervez Ashraf was administered the oath by PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq.

The NA speaker’s office fell vacant on April 9 when PTI’s Asad Qaiser resigned, stating that he can not hold voting on the no-confidence against the then-prime minister Imran Khan, which he said, was a part of a “foreign conspiracy” against the PTI government.

Earlier today, PTI’s Qasim Suri resigned from the office of the deputy speaker, hours before a no-confidence motion was scheduled to be tabled against him.

After Suri’s resignation, PML-N leader Ayaz Sadiq — who chaired today’s session — said there’s no need for voting on the motion now.

He stated that the courts have specified the resignation process according to which it is to be presented to the speaker in presence of witnesses.

I hope you bury what took place earlier: Shehbaz

Congratulating the newly-elected speaker, Shehbaz, while speaking on the floor of the NA, hoped that Ashraf would bury what took place in the assembly in the last four years.

“You are an experienced politician. I congratulate you from the depth of my heart. You have also served the country as the prime minister,” the prime minister said.

‘Intuitions returning towards their constitutional role’

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari extended his congratulation to Raja Pervez Ashraf on becoming the 22nd speaker of the lower house.

Referring to the recent political turmoil in the country, Bilawal, while speaking on the floor of the house, said that a mockery was made of the constitution and the house during the last few days. Pakistan’s image was maligned, he added.

“The selected prime minister, who was imposed on the house, has been removed. We are a coalition government now,” he said, adding that the change brought a ray of hope for the people. Addressing Shehbaz Sharif, the PPP leader said: “Mr prime minister all the institutions and the nation are looking towards you.”

“Those institutions who had been controversial, are now returning towards their constitutional role,” said Bilawal.

The PPP leader claimed that no power could stop Pakistan from progressing and developing.

Speaking on the occasion, he, on the behalf of the house, expresses deep grief and condoled on the sad demise of Bilquis Bano Edhi, the wife of renowned humanitarian and philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi. Meanwhile, he tabled a motion to pay tribute to Bilquis Bano Edhi, which was approved unanimously by the house.

PM Shahbaz holds PTI responsible for load-shedding

Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly before the election of the speaker, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif brought it to the House’s notice that he held several meetings with energy and petroleum officials to take stock of the load-shedding across the country.

He said that the current capacity to produce electricity was enough for the country, but unfortunately, the PTI-led government did not follow up on the projects that had started during Nawaz Sharif’s tenure.

The prime minister said it was due to the PTI government’s “gross management and incompetence” that is causing load-shedding in the country — and nothing else.

“This was the most incompetent and corrupt government,” he said lashing out at the Imran Khan-led government.

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