PESHAWAR -  Unparliamentarily and racial remarks against women by KP Public Health Engineering Minister Shah Farman Khan yesterday sparked an uproar in the provincial assembly.

The KP Assembly turned into a fish market after Shah Farman told the opposition women lawmakers to meet him “alone” if they had any water-related problems.

The provincial assembly met with Deputy Speaker Dr Mehar Taj Roghani in the chair. The unpleasant comments of the lawmaker from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) caused disturbance in the house as the legislators from the joint opposition started slogans against the minister, asking him to take his words back.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) member Nighat Orakzai started protesting against the minister, asking him to apologise. However, Shah Farman called her black-faced when she was protesting in the house over his behaviour.

The women lawmakers protested in the house for a while and later walked out in front of the treasury benches, holding hand-written placards with slogans against unequal distribution of development funds.

Nighat Orakzai said that in the past, women lawmakers and minorities’ representatives were given development schemes and funds, but in the PTI government, all funds had been diverted to selected areas. She said women lawmakers from the opposition were not getting any schemes for their constituencies.

On this occasion, the chair asked Shah Farman to speak on the issue, who told the house that the province had been divided into 99 constituencies. As he was trying to explain, Nighat Orakzai objected and started speaking. Shah Farman told the deputy speaker to ask Nighat to sit down and listen to him otherwise he would not give answer.

However, Shah Farman who had the microphone stated that there were 36 departments, but if the women lawmakers had only issues regarding the water, they should meet him alone, and smiled after it.

The remarks resulted in an uproar in the house and Nighat Orakzai started protest. Hot words were also exchanged between Farman and Nighat.

On this occasion, the chair directed the assembly staff to expunge the word “alone” from the proceedings.

When the protest intensified, the deputy speaker, leaving the agenda incomplete, had to adjourn the session till Friday.