Wednesday’s session of the National Assembly became the scene of fiery exchange between the speeches of PPP chairperson Bilawal Zardari and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Bilawal accused the government of rigging yesterday’s vote on the budget, saying the speaker of the assembly was meant to conduct a count because a vote had been challenged. He said it was not about his choice and when he challenged his ruling “you stood up and left.”
He asked how this does not amount to rigging.
The National Assembly passed the budget on Tuesday with a majority vote.
Zardari also said some treasury members displayed irresponsible behavior and also chided missing opposition members.
Qureshi delivered a rousing attack to the young Zardari’s speech, saying he should’ve taken up the matter with Qaiser in his chamber and not the floor of the house.
He then questioned the PPP government in Sindh, saying they did not allow the opposition leader to speak, a reference to some PTI members being barred.
“Have you given the opposition representation in the provincial standing committees?” asked Qureshi. “What parliamentary tradition are you talking about?”
He too criticized the absence of the leader of the opposition from the debate on the finance bill reminding everyone that 25 members of PML-N were absent.
But Zardari responded to Qureshi’s criticism with more critique, saying it was odd that the foreign minister was attacking the party which first made him foreign minister and leader of the Punjab wing of PPP.
"I have heard him say jiye Bhutto and agli bari, phir Zardari to protect his ministry," he said, before attacking him for making deals on Kashmir.
"When the United States is withdrawing from Afghanistan, he should be focusing on arranging a phone call with President Joe Biden due to Pakistan's strategic importance. It is a matter of shame that our premier doesn't even get a phone call," he said.
In what many analysts are calling a strange move, the young PPP chairperson said Imran Khan should task the ISI for tapping Qureshi’s phone as he’s not to be trusted.