Pak PM wins vote of confidence, opposition leaders manhandled outside Parliament

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By Hamza Ameer
Islamabad, March 6 (IANS)
As Prime Minister Imran Khan successfully attained the vote of confidence from the Parliament, members of the opposition leadership, which had boycotted the session, got manhandled by supporters of the ruling party outside Parliament house.
Tensions ran high as leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), who were present outside the parliament, were harassed and manhandled by supporters of the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
During the brawl, shoes were hurled at PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, while Dr. Musaddiq Malik and Mariyum Aurangzeb were attacked and manhandled.
PML-N leaders alleged they were harassed and manhandled by PTI supporters, adding that there was no police or security for their protection.
Opposition members of the parliament have condemned the incident.
Mohsin Dawar said on Twitter: “Shame on PTI’s thugs who attacked @Marriyum_A, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Musadik Malik, @betterpakistan& other PMLN leaders. This takes PTI thuggery to a new high from 2014. It’s a dangerous precedent & is taking situation towards direct confrontation. PM should show responsibility.”
Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said, “Such behaviour was reflective of the PTI’s tactics. I challenge them to a face off on the road in front of the cameras.”
PML-N’s Mariyum Aurangzeb also raged at the government saying that there is not prime minister in the country. “There is no prime minister in this country; instead there is a thug, bully and a terrorist. They want to secure a vote of confidence through bullying and terrorism,” she said.
On the other hand, Arsalan Khalid, the Prime Minister’s focal person for digital media, has denied that his party supporters began the scuffle, stating that it was PML-N leaders, who began the fight.
Khalid tweeted: “Here is a complete video in which you can clearly see Shahid Khaqan and Musaddiq Malik attacking the PTI workers first while workers only defended themselves. Frustration is making them attack workers on street. Shame on some media channels who are misreporting this to appease PML-N.”
While chaos was witnessed outside the parliament, Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a show of strength, secured 178 votes – six more than required, to win the vote of confidence from the National Assembly.
Addressing the parliament after the win, Khan said, “no one can stop Pakistan’s progress”.
“To my parliamentarians and team, I thank you. Yesterday evening when I saw you, I realised that you were really hurt when we lost the Senate election of Hafeez Sheikh. But when I saw you, I felt you are good because I saw a team in you and our team will get stronger. Because God will test your faith again and again”, he said.

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