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Pak National Assembly remains in turmoil as government, opposition still at loggerheads

ANI | Updated: Jun 17, 2021 22:22 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], June 17 (ANI): All hectic efforts to restore normalcy to the Pakistan National Assembly (NA) by Speaker Asad Qaiser proved futile as treasury members again interrupted the budget speech of the Leader of the opposition Shehbaz Sharif through sloganeering for a third consecutive day on Wednesday.
According to Dawn, Qaiser had arrived at the House after meeting Prime Minister Imran Khan and banning the entry of seven unruly members including three from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI). He later announced that he would not run the house till the time an understanding was reached between the government and the opposition over a strategy for the ongoing budget session.
However, the speaker's actions of banning the lawmakers' entry, separate phone calls to Shehbaz and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto and his offer to form a parliamentary committee for further action against troublemakers did not pacify the opposition. They later decided not to hold any talks with the government and announced moving a no-confidence motion against the NA speaker.
The opposition had already moved a no-confidence motion against NA Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri for allegedly bulldozing legislation in the house last week.
Dawn reported that the session on Wednesday had to be suspended after an unidentified opposition member from the backbenches threw a sanitiser bottle at the treasury benches that hit PTI MNA Akram Cheema. Later, the speaker came to the house and adjourned the sitting till Thursday noon.
This came after the NA session was adjourned on Tuesday after the Opposition parties attacked the Imran Khan government's budget proposals saying that it had failed to provide relief to the masses from unemployment and inflation.
During the Assembly sitting, members of the treasury created chaos on the floor and started making noise and abusing each other. The lawmakers were seen fighting and throwing copies of the budget.

In a viral video on Twitter, NA member, Ali Nawaz Awan was seen using derogatory words after an argument on a certain topic began. Federal minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was standing by his seat.
"Whatever happened on June 14 and 15 is regrettable. The members who used inappropriate and unparliamentary language have insulted the whole house," Qaiser said, adding that he had taken action against some of them.
The members whose entry has been banned till further orders are Ali Gohar, Chaudhary Hamid Hameed and Sheikh Rohale Asghar of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Agha Rafiullah of the PPP, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Ali Nawaz Awan, Faheem Khan and Abdul Majeed Khan of the PTI, according to Dawn.
Meanwhile, the opposition parties in a letter to the speaker said: "This was the first occasion in the history of the National Assembly of Pakistan, and possibly parliamentary history worldwide that the treasury MNAs and government ministers defied the speaker and physically attacked the opposition."
They also accused the speaker of turning a blind eye and remaining silent on the violence and abuse that unfolded before his eyes.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) information secretary Marriyum Aurangzeb told Dawn that the speaker did not have the courage to take action against ministers, including Ali Amin Gandapur and Murad Saeed, who were leading the treasury members in their attack on the opposition leader and the members.
She said right after walking out of that cabinet meeting, the ministers had come to the parliament with a single-point agenda of "cursing, attacking and interrupting Sharif's speech", reported Dawn.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has convened a meeting of the parliamentary party on Thursday to discuss the strategy for the budget session and vote of no-confidence against the deputy speaker.
The political situation in Pakistan has been chaotic over the recently-passed federal budget, which has been criticised by many opposition parties. (ANI)