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Pakistan

National Assembly session adjourned as lawmakers trade barbs again

  • Speaker says he will not conduct session until both the government and opposition settle issues
  • 3 members each belong to PTI and PML-N, while one PPP member among those were earlier barred from entering Parliament House until further orders
Published June 16, 2021

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser adjourned on Wednesday the assembly session shortly after it started, as treasury members continued their protest to interrupt Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif's budget speech.

Shehbaz's speech was cut short amid sloganeering from the treasury benches, forcing the NA speaker to adjourn the session.

During the session, Qaiser repeatedly called on the parliamentarians to be seated, but eventually postponed the session after an object was thrown at his podium.

"I will not conduct this House (NA) until both the government and the opposition [settle their matters]," said Qaiser after adjourning the session.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in a Twitter message claimed that the opposition had "attacked" the government lawmakers within minutes of the session's start.

"Worried by the economic improvement and popular budget, the opposition wants to run away from discussion on the budget in the House by engaging in confrontation," he said.

Shehbaz denounced Tuesday's violence in the assembly, saying that it was the Speaker’s responsibility to maintain the sanctity of the House and run it according to the law.

"I want to inform that it was the decision of our party and the opposition that if the opposition's speeches were peacefully listened to then we would reciprocate and listen to the leader of the House," he said, adding that the Speaker had failed from keeping the treasury members in control over the last two days.

Shehbaz also claimed that the behavior of treasury members had been sanctioned by Prime Minister Imran Khan himself.

"I am saddened by your helplessness," Shahbaz told the Speaker.

National Assembly speaker bans 7 lawmakers over 'disorderly' behaviour

Earlier, the National Assembly (NA) barred several MNAs for violating rules and interrupting the proceedings on June 14 and June 15.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) Faheem Khan, Abdul Majeed Khan and Ali Nawaz Awan, and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) Ali Gohar Khan, Chaudhary Hamid Hameed and Sheikh Rohale Asghar were among the ones barred from entering the National Assembly.

The NA speaker also banned the entry of the Pakistan Peoples Party's Syed Agha Rafiullah until further notice.

The conduct of these MNAs during Leader of the Opposition in NA Shehbaz Sharif's speech was grossly disorderly, an order by the NA said. "They violated the rules and, despite the repeated direction of the chair, interrupted House proceedings," the order added.

Earlier, Qaiser met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and informed him regarding the ruckus in the NA on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the treasury members resorted to sloganeering the moment Sharif started his speech on the budget. The floor turned into a battleground when the opposition members and the treasury members scuffled and threw budget documents and books at each other.

Parliamentary Secretary for Law Maleeka Bokhari received first aid at the Parliament House dispensary after being hit in the eye by an object.

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