ISLAMABAD -  The National Assembly sitting on Tuesday was marred by yet another boycott of opposition benches as the government did not see eye to eye to their demand for live coverage on the state-run TV channel.

While commenting on the newly found romance between the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf — the two main opposition parties in the Lower House — a treasury lawmaker feared that “a more devious plan may be in the making” and “the two parties may enter into an alliance in the future”.

The opposition lawmakers, like their previous practice, delivered speeches on issues ranging from the Middle Eastern crisis to the leaked picture of prime minister’s son, Hussain Nawaz, to the refusal of the Qatari prince to appear before the Joint Investigation Team etc before staging an enemas walkout from the House.

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, during the proceeding, along with other treasury lawmakers also held a meeting with opposition lawmakers in his chamber to persuade them to end their boycott, however, his efforts bore no fruit.

With the outset of the proceedings, PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi asked the government to clear its stance on the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and Gulf states.

“The crisis is in the making but the Pakistani government’s stance is still unclear,” he said commenting that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not get a chance to speak at a summit in his recent visit to the Saudi Arabia. “The Saudi-led Gulf states have decided to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar,” he said.

While talking about the federal budget, Qureshi said that the budget speeches of the opposition members have no value after the government decided not to telecast them live on the state-run television. “The opposition speeches are meaningless now, as the opposition stance is not part of the record,” he said.

While talking about Hussain Nawaz’s leaked picture, Qureshi said it was unclear how the photo was released. He further raised the question why the Qatari prince refused to appear before the JIT probing the Panama Papers case.

Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed proposed that the Pakistani government play a role to convene a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to resolve the Middle Eastern crisis.

While talking about Hussain Nawaz’s leaked picture, he said that the probe body building was under the control of the law and interior ministries. “How the picture was leaked to the media?” he questioned.

While talking about the opposition’s boycott, he said that the government has not shown any flexibility to telecast speeches of the opposition members live on PTV. “Isn’t it the government’s stubbornness,” he said adding the government violated the parliamentary traditions as a treasury member opened the budget speech. He also blamed the government for the crisis. “We cannot sit in the House where the opposition’s voice is being gagged,” he said and left the house in protest with the rest of the opposition lawmakers.

PkMAP chief Mehmood Achakzai asked the opposition leader to sit with the government and end the boycott.

Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanvir, while responding to the speech of the opposition leader, said that the new romance of the PPP and PTI reflects that something was being cooked. “It seems that a future political alliance is being planned by the PPP and the PTI. It seems Khursheed Shah has been made hostage and did not want to make them (PTI) annoy,” he said. However, he asked the government to play its role regarding the budget speeches and help end the boycott.

Earlier, ANP’s MNA Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour asked the government and the opposition to end the boycott. “The opposition should also show some flexibility and participate in the budget debate,” he said.

MQM’s Sheikh Salahuddin also asked the speaker to play his role to persuade the disgruntled opposition. Jamaat-e-Islami’ Sahibzada Tariq Ullah also asked the speaker to play his role in this regard.

Both the opposition and government senior lawmakers in the presence of Speaker Ayaz Sadiq held a meeting in the speaker’s chamber. The meeting, however, remained inconclusive.

 The opposition also threatened to once again hold a ‘parallel assembly’ if their speeches were not telecast live on PTV, parliamentary sources claimed.

The government lawmakers, during their speeches, lauded the budgetary proposals and termed it “pro-people”.