NA session turns chaotic as scuffle breaks between opposition, govt benches

ISLAMABAD – The session of the National Assembly on Thursday became a battlefield as a scuffle broke out between the opposition and government lawmakers.

The NA session under Speaker Ayaz Sadiq turned quite chaotic as both the sides started slapping and pushing one another.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Shehryar Afridi earlier went up to the government’s benches and started a scuffle with Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who is the current Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources.

During the session, PTI lawmakers led by Shah Mehmood Qureshi started chanting ‘thief, thief’ slogans in the house and stood up on their benches in protest.

The PML-N and PTI lawmakers started exchange of slogans, while the Speaker requested them to respect the prayer call.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab tried to defuse the tension but to no avail.

Qureshi during his speech said that it is not a monarchy where a PM says one thing in the House and another in the apex court.

“The missing pages of an open book are filled up with Qatari prince’s letters,” remarked Qureshi.

Before the session of the lower house of the Parliament commenced, a House Business Advisory Committee meeting under the NA Speaker took place.

The opposition parties boycotted the session and came outside in protest. The disgruntled opposition leaders demanded that a privilege motion be moved against the premier on grounds that he is no longer ‘Sadiq and Ameen’ (honest and trustworthy).

Pakistan People’s Party leader Naveed Qamar said that privilege motion against the PM hasn’t been ruled out.

The Speaker said that one representative each from the Opposition and government’s side should speak over the point of objection, he said.

Qamar said that the Opposition will reveal its strategy in the house’s session today.

Another meeting took place of the Opposition leaders before the NA session began. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi met with leader of the Opposition Khursheed Shah. The two leaders consulted over a privilege motion against the PM.

PTI’s Qureshi said that the Prime Minister remaining in power raises concerns as he is no longer ‘honest and trustworthy’.

According to sources, the Opposition agreed to continue the NA session till two weeks.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan is currently hearing a case involving the Prime Minister with regard to the Panama Leaks that surfaced last year.

This stormy session wasn’t the first of its kind as PTI and ruling party’s officials keep on locking horns at other platforms too.

Earlier in November, a heated argument took place between Special Assistant to PM for Political Affairs Dr Asif Kirmani and PTI lawmaker MNA Shehryar Afridi during a live television talk show. The two leaders were present as guests on Geo News programme Naya Pakistan.

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