Opposition leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has made it clear to the government that his party will not take part in any vote of confidence for an individual.

“It is a cruel joke with the nation to seek a vote of confidence at a time when Balochistan is burning, Karachi is up in flames and Fata is in a state of war. For God’s sake, don’t render the assemblies irrelevant with this kind of act. The people have sent us to the assemblies to solve their problems,” he said in his speech on a point of order in the National Assembly on Monday.

The winter session of the National Assembly got under way on Monday after a long break.Though there was no set agenda for the first sitting of the session the verbal duel between Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan set the tone for the coming days.

The minister did not agree with the opposition leader and said that President Zardari had been elected with votes from the four provinces and the office of the president was part of parliament.

“The matter of confidence or impeachment will only be settled in parliament, not on roads, and that is the reason that three provincial assemblies have renewed their confidence in President Zardari,” he added.

In his speech, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan questioned the need for a vote of confidence at this time. “Musharraf used the assemblies in similar fashion. We will not become part of this kind of political stunt as the fate of the country does not hinge on one person,” he added.

He also asked President Asif Ali Zardari to name those who, in his opinion, were hatching conspiracies against him. “President Zardari should come to this august house and inform us who is hatching conspiracies against him,” he said.

Chaudhry Nisar repeatedly asked President Zardari to expose those ‘unseen forces’ whom he accused of plotting to oust him. He said the president should take parliament into confidence about those conspiring against him. “In such an eventuality, the opposition would stand by the president,” he assured the house.