Tuesday Jan 14, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda on Tuesday mocked the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) unconditional support for the Army Act amendment bill, saying the party was "lying down to kiss the boot".
The federal minister, who was on a television talk show with Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Qamar Zaman Kaira and PML-N representative Javed Abbasi startled all by placing a black boot that he had brought with him on top of the table.
"I am going to bring this [boot] to every talk show," he said. "This is how democratic the PML-N is. They lie down to kiss the boot," he added.
Vawda was mocking the PML-N slogan "Vote Ko Izzat Do" by saying "Boot Ko Izzat Do", criticising the party for deviating from its stance and lending unconditional support for the services chief's tenure bills.
When asked why he was criticising the PML-N for supporting the PTI government on the Army Act bill, Vawda said: "It was our stance. We were doing it for the Pakistani nation and we stood firm [on our stance]."
"You should have respected them from day one like we did. You talk against them, spew your hatred against them, you talk even when they lay down their lives as martyrs. Is there any shame? Any respect?"
All three bills were passed in the National Assembly and the Senate last week, with the PPP also supporting the government in getting both houses of parliament to approve the constitutional amendments.
Vawda said the nation had seen the true face of the PML-N leadership. He said the party had decided that it was ready to even "lie down and kiss the boot" when it came to saving their own corruption.
Referring to the boot, the federal minister said "it wasn't possible that it [the boot] has been shined by human hands".
"It cannot be shined by human hands. The limit to which they have stooped, it looks like the boot has been shined by their [the PML-N leadership] tongues," he added. "When it comes to your corruption or your accountability, you are ready to lie down and kiss the boot. You will stoop as low as needed."
PPP's Kaira objected to Vawda's language and said the federal minister had gone too far. He lamented how the PTI leader had dragged the armed forces into a controversy by alleging that they had pressurised the PML-N into supporting the bill.
Both the PML-N and the PPP leaders left the talkshow in protest against Vawda's language.
While the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had decided to unconditionally support the Army Act amendment, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had voiced support for the 'democratic legislative process' to be followed.
The amendment sought to make future extensions of army chiefs airtight as the bill states categorically that it "shall not be called into question before any court on any ground whatsoever".
PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had all parties not to sidestep the democratic process.
"Government committee arrived at Zardari house to discuss upcoming legislation. The Peoples Party wants to positively engage with the democratic legislative process. Some parties seem to want to side step the legislative process," he had tweeted.
"The more important the legislation the more important it is for us to follow the democratic process. PPP will take this up with other political parties as well."
Back in November, the apex court had asked the government to legislate on an extension in the COAS's services within six months, allowing General Bajwa to stay in office until then, after briefly suspending the notification of the extension in his tenure.
Prior to that, PM Imran in August had approved the extension in the COAS's services through an executive order. However, former chief justice Asif Saeed Khosa had in late November taken up a petition 'in public interest', challenging the extension in service of the COAS.
While taking up the petition, the former chief justice had dismissed a plea by the petitioner, Riaz Rahi, to take back the plea he had filed earlier that year challenging the extension in service of the army chief. A three member bench of the top court had heard the case.
Last month, after the top court issued the detailed verdict in the COAS case, the government had filed a review petition in the SC, pleading the court to form a larger bench to hear the case, and requesting it to keep the proceedings in-camera.