President Dr Arif Alvi withdrew the order for a joint session of the parliament, scheduled for Thursday at 11 am. Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry has cited the announcement to “reconnect” with the opposition.
“Speaker Asad Qaiser would hold talks with the Opposition over electoral reforms,” Chaudhry tweeted. “Electoral reforms are the country's future and we, with the best of intentions, are trying to develop a consensus on this.”
However, the sources within the government have revealed that it was being reported that 20 to 25 members would not have attended the session.
According to the sources, 15 to 17 members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and alliance group would have been absent from the meeting.
At least 203 members have attended the lunch on Wednesday hosted by Prime Minister Imran Khan while the total number of PTI and allies in the Parliament is 213.
Currently, the government has a lead of nine members over the opposition in the parliament. So far, four government officials have also returned from abroad to attend the meeting.
On the other hand, the opposition lashed out at the government for withdrawing the session. Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has declared the move as a “victory” for the united opposition.
“Yet another victory for the united opposition in parliament today. Government ran away from joint sessions,” he wrote. “Captain [Imran Khan] ran away.”
PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz said that just now “rejected” the prime minister had asked the lawmakers to consider voting in the parliamentary session a jihad.