Noisy National Assembly ends with PTI requesting for PM Nawaz attendancePakistan
Ruckus and disorderly conduct continued on the second day of the parliament session on Thursday, with chaos erupting soon after PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi stood up to address the speaker. The PTI leader requested Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend the next session and clarify his position.
Speaker Ayaz Sadiq tried to maintain order in the house but PML-N lawmakers began yelling when Qureshi started to address the speaker in a hostile manner.
"I would have presented my point of view on the privilege motion submitted by my party if you had given me 10 minutes after Leader of Opposition Khursheed Shah spoke yesterday," said Qureshi.
"If this was done yesterday then what happened yesterday would not have happened."
"I expect the speaker to protect the rights of minorities and the opposition. I might be alone and my voice might be weak, but I am speaking on behalf of eight million people," said the veteran PTI leader.
The PTI leader said he has seen the speaker coming under pressure from the government. He added that he will respect Sadiq if he is neutral, but will not refer to him as the 'speaker' if he sides with the government.
"I never disrespected you as the speaker. I never wanted to address you like I did yesterday. I was dragged and forced in that corner to address you as Mr Ayaz Sadiq," said Qureshi, explaining his earlier outburst.
Referring to Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique earlier comments, in which he called lawmakers from the PTI as 'hooligans', he said, "Ministry of Railways referred to our protest yesterday as noise by 'PTI's hooligans'. This is all on record and it's all over the news."
The speaker countered and said he will get the word 'hooligans' expunged from the house's records.
"You're used to terrible accident on the railways. If this misbehaviour continues, a parliamentary accident will also occur, one that hasn't been witnessed before," said Qureshi to Rafique.
PTI's Qureshi also said Saad Rafique will have to apologise for his earlier comments, or he will not be allowed to address the floor of the house.
"Saad Rafique needs to apologise to us or else he shouldn't be allowed to speak."
The PTI leader, referring to the privileged motion, claimed he was not aware that the PPP would be submitting one too.
"I did not know PPP had also submitted a similar privilege motion to the one PTI had drafted."
However, on Wednesday the Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah and Qureshi did hold a meeting before the start of the parliamentary session.
Talking in the assembly about PTI's privilege motion, which was to be submitted on Wednesday, the PTI leader claimed that their privilege motion was trashed before it was even heard.
"How can you give a ruling without listening to us?" questioned the PTI leader.
"Senator Aitezaz Ahsan, on television said what we've put forth is not subjudice."
"We never spoke on Panamagate. We spoke about Nawaz Sharif lying on the floor of the parliament."
He added that PTI's privileged motion had simply asked whether what Nawaz Sharif was saying on the floor of the house was the truth or the one he presented in the court was the truth.
"This was the privilege motion that you rejected without giving us a chance to explain."
Qureshi added that if the premier can come to the parliament and explain what his lawyer said, the rift would settle down.
Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said he is an elected official and it is his duty to remain unbiased in his role as the speaker of the house.
"When I was deseated, I went to the public instead of the court," he said, adding that he was restored to his position and it was only possible to the courts and democracy.
"I always try to be as fair as possible. I will never present a rebuttal here because I do not want a back and forth. It's undignified," said Sadiq.
"I do everything in accordance with the law and the Constitution," the speaker added.
Saad Rafique said he had read the transcript from yesterday's session and reacted when PTI MNAs used abusive language against the prime minister and the speaker.
"I admit I used the word hooliganism."
"I unintentionally disrespected you and I take my words back," Rafique added.addressing Qureshi.
"Criticise us as much as you want. But please do not use expletives, threatening words against us," Rafique added the PML-N stalwart.
The railways minister further asked PTI to take back indecent words you have used against our prime minister and our political workers.
Rafique, referring to the Panama Papers, said the parliament can not be made in to the Supreme Court neither can the court be made in to the parliament.
"We can sit together and discuss how we can discuss Panama Papers in the parliament. There are ways that we can find to discuss it further in the parliament," said the PML-N minister.
"We knew you (PTI) will go to the court, which is why we issued a statement in the Parliament to explain our position to our fellow parliamentarians," Rafique added.
"We did not go to the court, you did. You promised us you will take back your allegation that the elections were rigged, but once it was proven in your, you still did not withdraw your allegations," Rafique said.
"Everyone named in Panama Papers was set aside but the PM was singled out," the railways minister added further.
The PML-N minister clarified that the ruling party will not settle the matter of Panama Papers till a verdict is announced by the Supreme Court, as they do not want to approach the 2018 general elections under the shadow of the controversy.
"We do not want to enter the 2018 elections with a case hanging on our head. We want a decision ourselves."
"You raise allegations but never provide evidence to prove them," he added.
After launching a lengthy tirade against the PTI, Rafique requested the parliament members to cooperate in the future and solve all discussions in a civilised manner.
Khursheed Shah said he will address his privilege motion in the next session of the parliament.
The speaker adjourned the parliament, next session on Dec 16 at 10:30am.