Soon after the major opposition parties’ decision to take on the government during the joint session of the Parliament and to foil its bid to get the controversial bills approved, the government postponed the session scheduled for today (Thursday). Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry announced the decision in a statement on Wednesday. The session had been called to pass the National Accountability Bureau Ordinance (Amendment) Bill and Electoral Reforms Bill among other items. Fawad said National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser would hold talks with the opposition on the electoral reforms. “Electoral reforms are the country’s future and we, with the best of intentions, are trying to develop a consensus on this. In this regard, the speaker has been tasked with holding talks with the opposition so that a unanimously agreed upon electoral reform bill can be presented,” he said. He further said the session had been postponed with the hope that the opposition would consider the government’s proposal seriously and work towards making a unanimously agreed-upon plan of action. “In case, this does not happen, we will still not step back from electoral reforms,” he added. Fawad made no mention of when the parliamentary session would be recalled. Right before the announcement, Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the lawmakers of government and allies and stressed the need for introducing electoral reforms. Imran told the lawmakers that voting in the joint parliamentary session should be considered jihad, as it was not in his personal benefit but the country. Responding to the postponement, PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz said just now the “rejected” prime minister had asked the lawmakers to consider voting in the parliamentary session jihad. “So can the nation ask why was the ‘jihad’ abruptly postponed? Although the nation is well-aware of what is happening, still, there was a need to ask this question?” she remarked. PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb also censured Fawad and said instead of running away, he should admit the truth and accept that the government did not have the required numbers to get the bills passed. She claimed that not only the allies, but also the government’s own lawmakers were not ready to back the legislation. Aurangzeb asked why the government remembered to hold negotiations with the opposition after calling the joint session. When contacted, PPP Central Information Secretary Shazia Marri told Daily Times that the government had postponed the session, as it could see its defeat. “Running away from the joint session of the parliament shows that the government is confused.” The PPP leader said PM Imran Khan had “lost” his importance in the Parliament, as he did not have the support of all the government lawmakers. “PTI lawmakers are frustrated with the government. And now, Imran Khan can neither face the nation nor can he face the people who represent them.” Meanwhile, the NA session chaired by Amjad Ali Khan could not continue the proceedings. Soon after the question hour ended, the chair adjourned the session till Thursday morning.