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Bilawal calls for resignation of NA speaker, deputy speaker over 'bias'

Bilawal calls for resignation of NA speaker, deputy speaker over 'bias'

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, while addressing a press conference hours after the arrest of his father Asif Ali Zardari, complained that he was not allowed to speak "yet again" in the National Assembly during Monday's session.

"Three of the government members got the chance to speak but I was denied to speak in the house," he alleged. "I condemn the attitude of National Assembly speaker [Asad Qaiser] and deputy speaker [Qasim Suri] and demand that they resign from their posts because they are not impartial — they act like an extension of the government."

The National Assembly session on Monday was adjourned after opposition members surrounded the speaker's dais and protested against Deputy Speaker Suri giving the floor to Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid instead of the PPP chairperson.

Suri had assured the protesting MNAs that Bilawal would be allowed to speak after Sheikh Rashid's speech. The deputy speaker said that he had given the floor to the railways minister because the latter wanted to respond to Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, who had named Rashid in his speech.

"We have seen with our own eyes that when someone from the govt indicates, the speaker gets up or sits down," Bilawal said in the press conference. "I wasn't allowed to speak in the National Assembly — I am a representative of the people of Larkana, an elected MNA."

He also lambasted the government for turning the country into a "censored Pakistan".

"Our media is facing censorship, as I have been saying since the elections. Those who don't toe the line, face repercussions. Interviews are not aired, woes of judiciary are not being discussed.

"This doesn't happen in a democracy; this is not a democratic Pakistan — this is a censored Pakistan.

"Every citizen has the right to a fair trial, they deserve to know if a reference is being filed against them, not from a ticker on the television but from those filing it," said Bilawal, alluding to the reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa.

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