On Wednesday, the National Assembly witnessed a chaotic session as the opposition again accused Speaker Asad Qaiser of bias, alleging that he didn’t encourage them to share their views.
Qaiser wanted legislators to debate the government’s constitutional amendment bill and demand a vote on it, but in his address, PML-Ahsan N’s Iqbal said he was “challenging” the speaker to say if the PML-N had earned its share of the calling-attention notices and adjournment motions taken up in the last 2.5 years.
“The chair deliberately ignores the calling-attention notices and adjournment motions of PML-N,” he claimed, saying his party wanted to address the increase in energy and fuel rates, the issue of LNG and wheat and sugar controversies, but was not allowed to.
I welcome your challenge,”I accept your challenge,”I did everything according to merit,”I have done everything according to merit,”I did everything according to merit.
In the current legislative year, Iqbal said “not a single” calling-attention note was taken, stressing that “this is not a scrap site that can be bulldozed.”
He reported that opposition members were permitted to talk for even two hours on end during the PML-N period.
But here we feel like the status of unwelcome members has been given to the opposition. […] Our mics are switched off once we stand up,”But here we feel like the opposition has been given the status of unwelcome members. […] Whenever we stand up, our mics are turned off,” “This is not the PTI’s assembly, this is the National Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”
Iqbal challenged Qaiser to use his powers equally, claiming that neither side belonged to the speaker.
In response, Qaiser said, provoking boos from the opposition, “I am definitely the custodian of the house, I take care of the entire house and run it as per the law,”
Refusing to back down, Iqbal then turned around and asked the members of the opposition present to raise their hands if they thought Qaiser was rightfully serving his position. “Nooo,” the chants arrived, after which Qaiser said the participants were just following the orders of Iqbal.
In order to make it unsuccessful, Iqbal also accused the government of punishing the opposition as part of its “revenge tactics” saying that Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif, PPP leader Khursheed Shah, and Punjab opposition leader Hamza Shehbaz were all imprisoned for the same cause.
He said government members were routinely subjected to “character assassination” and “media trial” by PML-Khawaja N’s Asif, who was detained by the National Accountability Bureau late last year, but despite this, the court had sent him on judicial remand because it was “confused” by the evidence raised against him.
NAB conducts under-construction project inquiries against us, but once it is complete, an inquiry can not be conducted into the Peshawar BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project,”NAB conducts inquiries of under-construction projects against us but an inquiry cannot be held into the Peshawar BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) project until it is complete,”
The speaker then invited Farogh Naseem, Minister of Law and Justice, to talk about the popular features of the 26th constitutional amendment bill, but before the speaker declared a prayer break, he could hardly do so in the middle of noisy opposition sloganeering.
In his earlier remarks, Naseem said the open ballot should be used to conduct the Senate elections. “We are amending the Constitution, not stealing the election,” he added when addressing the accusation of the opposition.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan, speaking about the bill, said the PTI and its coalition partners were the only parties that had made realistic attempts by introducing a constitutional amendment to end the presence of money in the Senate elections.
He said the PPP and PML-N were “running away” from the plan to hold Senate polls by an open vote, considering the Charter of Democracy signed by their representatives.
People want the polls to be sold again, the Senate to be sold again, consciences to be sold again, and a demand for votes to be created. There is only one solution if this is not the case, and it is to have this amendment to the Constitution,” he added, saying that lawmakers will not be able to cast a vote against the party to which they belong after the amendment.
Awan said another amendment to Article 63(1)(c) sought by the government would allow Pakistanis with dual nationalities to contest elections.
He said the draught bill claimed that by requiring them to first renounce their second nationality before contesting the Pakistan elections, dual nationals should not be left “remedy-less” Therefore, if elected, they would be forced to renounce their foreign nationality before taking the oath of office.