ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) may make things complicated for the government on streets, yet its lawmakers fail to make hue and cry inside the National Assembly, thanks to Opposition Leader Khurshid Shah who seems to be acting more like a trouble-shooter for the ruling party by cooling tempers of enraged opposition.
The 62-year old seasoned politician from Sukkur, who as an opposition leader should give tough time to the treasury benches, has drastically changed his attitude since Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri have threatened to get rid of the ruling politicians by staging a protest sit-in in the federal capital.
Visibly perturbed by PTI's Azadi March in Islamabad, the ruling PML-N desperately needs political support in the lower house for lambasting Khan's rally looming large on Islamabad.
Speaker Ayaz Sadiq has perhaps sensed that granting time for his party ministers to vent their anger at PTI on the floor of the house does not work anymore. That's why most of the time only two political stalwarts - Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Syed Khurshid Shah - were given chance to speak.
On Thursday when PTI lawmakers protested the arrest of its supporters and the impoundment of their bikes by the Punjab government, the Speaker instead of asking a government's representative for explaining the situation, turned on the mikes of the Opposition Leader who advised the authorities to refrain from resorting to such tactics.
The chair of Opposition Leader since Monday has been surrounded by government's ministers and politicians loyal to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif like Mehmood Khan Achakzai and members of JUI-F.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab on Thursday rushed to one of the entry gates to the National Assembly's hall to receive Opposition Leader although the lower house has not witnessed such precedent in the past.
The embattled ruling party was grilled by MQM leader after police booked Dr Qadri in a case for allegedly inciting people to rise against the government followed by noise made by PTI lawmakers who said the authorities were making artificial fuel shortage to stop their party workers from reaching Islamabad.
The noisy session triggered Ayaz Sadiq to grant more time to Shah who spoke four times on the floor although several opposition members cried for speaking on a point of orders.
Former PPP leader and now PTI's lawmaker from Taxila, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, even termed the speaker as biased by not allowing opposition members to convey their grievances on the floor.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif unexpectedly showed up at the lower house on Thursday at a time when Khurshid in his speech was paying tributes to former premier Benazir Bhutto for her sacrifices to democracy and premier Nawaz for living in exile.
And amid loud noise by PTI members in the lower house demanding time from the Speaker to explain their point of view that the rally has nothing to do with the derailment of democracy, Mehmood Khan Achakzai stood only to request Sadiq for granting a chance to those who want to speak.
Even Sheikh Rashid protested to the Speaker for allowing him to speak but was denied repeatedly until he whispered something into the ear of Opposition Leader apparently to complain about the attitude of Sadiq.
Everybody in Press Gallery expected Sheikh Rashid to be revealing something new when he would be given the chance to speak; however, his short speech was a mild one and called for withdrawal of article 245, a point that was endorsed too by Khurshid Shah.
Soon after winding up his speech, Sh. Rashid was observed to have looked at the Opposition Leader with a smile as if he was obliged to Syed from Sukkar for helping him buying time from the Speaker.
PTI lawmakers seemed to be not satisfied with the friendly role of the Opposition Leader as evident from the statement of its central leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi who accused Khurshid Shah of acting more like a government's minister than playing his due opposition role.