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Bilawal-Qureshi NA face-off: childhood revelations, double standards, budget vote

The leaders got into a verbal spat

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 30, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Jun 30, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi got into a fiery debate and hurled accusations against each other during the National Assembly session on Wednesday.

In his speech, the PPP leader said that the vote on the federal budget yesterday was rigged. "The assembly speaker is supposed to carry out the count if a vote was challenged but that didn't happen."

He called it a violation of the rules of Parliament.

"I stood up at the time of the last vote and challenged your ruling but you stood up and left," the PPP leader told NA speaker Asad Qaiser. "Not being able to record our vote during the budget or during the FATF debate is nothing but rigging."

Qureshi lashes out at Bilawal

In response to Bilawal's speech, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi lashed out at the leader. "What are you talking about? Does the Sindh government ever let the opposition speak in the Sindh Assembly?"

The minister accused the PPP leader of "targetting" the NA speaker. "If you want to take up the matter, do it in the chamber instead of the floor of the House."

"Yesterday, voting on budget was held in the House. The finance minister responded to the opposition's argument and assured that everything goes according to the rules. What is the problem then?" Qureshi questioned.

You talk about Parliamentary decorum, what kind of policy is this where the opposition leader left the budget session midway and 25 PML-N leaders suddenly disappeared from the assembly.

Bilawal takes the floor again

Following Qureshi's speech, Bilawal took the floor again to "respond to the minister's allegations".

"The way PPP know the member [Qureshi], no one else does," he said, adding that the PM is yet to find out what kind of a person the minister actually is.

When he was interrupted by PTI members, Bilawal threatened that if he's not allowed to speak, he won't let Imran Khan make his speech. "I will see how he is able to do it".

He advised the PM to "see-through" Qureshi, pointing out that he knew the minister since childhood. "I have heard him chant jiye Bhutto and agli bari, phir Zardari to protect his ministry."

Bilawal accused Qureshi of 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."

The PM should tell ISI to tap Qureshi's phone, the PPP leader suggested, adding that during the PPP government, the minister used to campaign for his premiership internationally.

In response, Qureshi said that he knew Bilawal since he was a baby too and "it will take him time to learn politics". I will not add to his worries and let it pass, he added.

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