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PTI MNAs cursed parliament on its floor

20 January, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Legislators from the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Friday cursed the institution of parliament on the floor of the house. The rumpus began after the day’s business had been concluded and the deputy speaker adjourned the session until Monday evening.

At this point, PTI MNA Sheheryar Afridi stood up and launched a verbal attack on Deputy Speaker Javed Murtaza Abbasi, calling him “laanti” (accursed) for not allowing him to speak on a point of order.

A day earlier, the deputy speaker had denied PTI lawmakers the chance to respond when nearly all other parties supported a resolution condemning Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid’s anti-parliamentary remarks.

“Lakh laanat (a hundred thousand curses),” said Mr Afridi, adding: “Parliament is not anybody’s personal legacy.”

Before leaving the assembly hall, PTI MNAs Murad Saeed and Amjad Niazi also raised slogans in the house, shouting: “Shame shame!” and “Laanat laanat!”.

The disturbance began when Mr Saeed, who had already spoken on the issue of new gas connections, indicated that he wanted to speak again on a point of order. He wanted to discuss the resolution passed by the house a day earlier.

However, like the previous day, the deputy speaker did not allow PTI legislators to speak on the issue and adjourned the house until Monday. This angered the PTI MNAs, who began cursing parliament and the deputy speaker on the floor of the house.

However, no reaction was witnessed from members of the treasury benches, since the sitting had already been adjourned.

Although Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid had announced his intention to resign from the National Assembly during the opposition’s public meeting in Lahore on Wednesday, he did not show up for the session on Friday, nor has he submitted his resignation to NA Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

It was also expected that the treasury benches would move a privilege motion against Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid, but this did not happen.

Later, talking to reporters in his chambers, NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq said he was quite disappointed with the attitude of PTI leaders in the house. “We have taken an oath on the Constitution to uphold its honour and protect it, but the words that were used today were quite disturbing and painful,” he said, while referring to PTI’s outburst inside the house.

“We take the oath and violate it ourselves. Anyone who wants to come to parliament has to take the same oath, but it is sad that those who have taken the oath pass derogatory remarks against parliament,” the speaker said, adding: “I really feel sad.”

When asked if he would take any action against the PTI legislators for passing derogatory remarks, he said it was an individual decision whether to respect parliament or not.

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