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Pak opposition holds own parliament session on road

November 06, 2013 15:29 IST

Pakistani opposition lawmakers on Wednesday held their own "session" outside parliament to protest a disparity in figures for civilian casualties in US drone attacks and terror strikes.

Despite a request from Minister of State for Water Chaudhry Abid Sher Ali, the opposition refused to enter the Senate or upper house of parliament and chanted "Shame, shame, shame".

The opposition lawmakers said they would discuss a 10-point agenda during their "session" outside parliament, including Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan’s "attitude", a power tariff hike, inflation and the law and order situation in the financial hub of Karachi.

"The (casualty) figures submitted by the Interior Minister were incorrect and were justifying the drone attacks conducted by the US," Pakistan People's Party (PPP) lawmaker Raza Rabbani said.

The Interior Minister recently said 2,160 militants and only 67 civilians were killed in US drone strikes. However, the figures were contested by opposition parties and rights groups.

Even the defence ministry told the media that these figures were wrong, Rabbani claimed.

"The records should be corrected immediately and the Interior Minister should withdraw figures pertaining to casualties in terrorist activities that he had presented in the upper house," Rabbani demanded.

He said the opposition did not have any other way but to hold a session outside parliament.

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