Prime Minister Imran Khan has only attended six sittings of the parliament, out of a total of 34 held since August, when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf led government came to power.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, the prime minister accused the rival parties of disrupting the parliament by staging walkouts. “In a Parliament that costs taxpayers billions yearly, yet another walkout in the National Assembly by the Opposition shows that this is the only function they intend to perform (sic),” he wrote on the social media platform.
But Khan’s own record of coming to the lower House has been erratic. Of the six times Khan appeared in the NA, he took his seat three times before the election of the premier and three times after, according to the Islamabad-based Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN).
Khan has been criticised in the past for being irregular. Even when he sat on the opposition benches from 2013-2018, he only attended six per cent of the total proceedings.
Separately, Shehbaz Sharif, the leader of the opposition, who has been incarcerated since October due to a corruption probe, has sat in 28 sittings of the parliament, while Bilawal Bhutto Zardari of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has attended 18 and his father, Asif Ali Zardari, has attended seven, to date.
Over in the Punjab assembly, where the PTI also formed government in August, their chief minister, Usman Buzdar, has attended seven sittings of the provincial assembly out of a total of 29. Meanwhile, Hamza Shehbaz, the leader of the opposition in Punjab, ranks below Buzdar with only six appearances since August, according to FAFEN.