President addresses joint sitting today

ISLAMABAD- President Asif Ali Zardari is going to address the joint sitting of the Parliament for the sixth consecutive time here today while Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would be the first Prime Minister who would be attending such an event as third time premier of the country.

Earlier, the former presidents Gen Ziaul Haq and Ghulam Ishaq Khan had shared the distinction of addressing the joint sitting of the Parliament for five times while president Gen Ziaul Haq was behind the legislation on making this practice of annual address of president to joint sitting of the Parliament mandatory.

Newly installed Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan had made strict security measures for the event and special passes were issued to all those intending to attend it with instruction that no one could enter the parliament without the special entry pass.

President Zardari had already summoned the joint sitting of the Parliament to meet today at4pmat Parliament House where he would address it for the first time when his party was not in government.

Zardari had to face sloganeering and uproar from the opposition on previous two addresses while some opposition parties had also staged walkout.

It would be quite interesting to see that this time those who had given tough time to President Zardari during his address last year would suppose to maintain order during his address because it would be the responsibility of the treasury benches to maintain order in the house during the Presidential address.

A senior parliamentarian said President Zardari would also be having the privilege to address the joint sitting comprising two National Assemblies. Earlier both President Ghulam Ishaq and Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari had the honour to address the joint sittings comprising two different National Assemblies.

Former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan had addressed two Joint Sessions of 8th National Assembly onDecember 14, 1988andDecember 2, 1989while three Joint Sessions of the 9th National Assembly onNov 8, 1990,Dec. 19, 1991, andDec. 22, 1992.

President Sardar Farooq Khan Leghari addressed the 10th National Assembly onNovember 14, 1994and onOct. 29, 1995while the 11th National AssemblyMarch 26, 1999.

Former President Pervez Musharraf had only addressed the 12th Joint Session of the Parliament onFeb. 17, 2004.

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