ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly yesterday witnessed rumpus in the middle of budgetary proceedings when Defence Minister Khwaja Asif used derogatory language against PTI chief whip Shireen Mazari.

Pointing towards Ms Mazari, Asif remarked, “Someone make this tractor-trolley keep quiet” when she and some other lawmakers protested to his speech on loadshedding during Ramazan.

“Make her voice more feminine,” he said, according to eyewitnesses. Another lawmaker chimed in from the government benches to say “Keep quiet, aunty.”

Moments earlier, television footage showed the defence minister, who also Minister for Water and Power, briefing lawmakers on the state of loadshedding in Ramazan.

“We are making efforts so that those who are fasting spend their sehri, iftari and tarawih without being affected by the loadshedding crisis,” he claimed.

Opposition lawmakers, including Mazari, vocally opposed his claims. Speaker Ayaz Sadiq called for order, asking the opposition benches to quiet down and listen to Asif’s speech. “Wait until it is your turn to respond,” Sadiq said.

PTI MNAs asked the speaker to not only expunge Asif’s words from session’s record but also ask him to apologise for derogatory remarks against his female colleague, who is known for her clear stance on issues and her hard-hitting criticism of government policies.

Mazari said that there should be some respect for women and some manners, demanding apology from federal minister.

The speaker ordered that Asif’s remarks against Ms Mazari be expunged from the session’s record.

But when Mazari stood in protest and argued with the speaker’s decision, Asif said: “I am not going to apologise, they can do whatever they want!”

Sadiq in a strong word asked Shreen Mazari to sit-down. “I will no more take your dictation... I am not going to expunge words If you (PTI member) will not sit-down,” said the speaker.

When PTI MNAs kept stressing the speaker to ask Asif to apologise, shifting the blame for Asif’s outburst onto Mazari, the speaker said: “Why didn’t you sit then? You kept on speaking!”

He said it was his responsibility to take any decision on this situation. “You (PTI members) spoil the situation during the speech of minister... I know what I should do.”

The verbal brawl seemingly will not stop in the lower house of parliament, as the issue has also become one of the top trends on social media, especially Twitter.

Shireen Mazari along with other opposition members has also planned to write a letter of protest against the minister on his remarks.

Although some TV reports claim Mazari appeared on the verge of tears, the PTI’s chief whip denies having “broken down”.

“News on TV channels that I broke down in NA because of Khawaja Asif’s remarks absolutely incorrect. We had a yelling match until the speaker intervened,” she tweeted.

Khawaja Asif on many occasions in the past too passed objectionable remarks against PTI members which lead to untidy situation in the house.

PTI’s Shafqat Mehmood said Asif, who he had known for 50 years, was intelligent and well-dressed but it is very old weakness of the defence minister that whenever he is under pressure, he does not keep his tongue in check.

“It seems as though this problem has followed him for 50 years,” said Shafqat, ostensibly giving reference of a case in Supreme Court regarding his constituency.

In yesterday’s session, Asif said Shireen Mazai always creates such situation as had never happened with other female legislators. “She should respect for others and not interrupt during the speech. If you raise voice than there should also be courage to bear that of others,” he added.

About government’s planning to overcome electricity crisis, he said that they have added 2,665MW additional electricity in the system during the last three years.

Terming opposition leader’s figures shared with the house wrong, he said 600MW of electricity has also been added from the existing units in PML-N’s era. The electricity supply and demand gap has decreased to almost half of what was there in the previous government (of PPP).

“(As many as) 36 billion dollars are being invested on energy plants under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor,” he said. He further said that 11,000MW additional electricity with the addition of these projects would be added to the national grid and total generation capacity will reach 31,000MW by 2018.

The minister said that Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project would be completed by August next year, 1,320MW Port Qasim project by June 2018 and Tarbela-IV by June next year. “These projects with this pace will help ending power crisis from country,” he claimed.

About Panama leaks, he said that this issue will die down in coming days. “Why they (PTI) are not bringing real changes as per their claims in KP,” said minister.

PTI’s Ghulam Sarwar, on his turn, said there should be no discrimination in duration of loadshedding between urban and rural areas.

Earlier, MQM lawmakers staged walkout from the proceedings of the house for besieging the residence of MQM’s parliamentary leader Dr Farooq Sattar. “MQM is being victimised as the house of Farooq Sattar was besieged,” they said, before staging walkout from the proceedings.

Taking part in budget debate, PTI’s MNA Shafqat Mehmood alleged that fake and fudged figures have been provided in the budget, especially of GDP growth and direct and indirect taxes.

Another PTI’s member Hamidul Haq said they would not further pray for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who recently underwent open heart surgery. “How come we pray for him (PM) as there is no relief (for the masses in the budget),” he said, inviting rumpus from treasury benches.

He also asked PML-N MNA Capt Safdar to talk to PM for provision of funds for his area. “PM is your father-in-law, so you being member from KP should talk to him,” he added.

Responding to him, Safdar said nobody should curse against anyone.

Pervaiz Malik lauded the performance of the finance ministry for taking proposals from business community before preparing the budget. He said a comprehensive package has been given in the budget for development of agriculture sector.

Amir Dogar, an Independent lawmaker from Multan, said Pakistan should be much cautious in the CPEC matter with China. “Government should not allow Chinese to purchase land... beware of the time they try to get hold of parliament and other matters like the East India Company,” he cautioned, before terming the budget 2016-17 anti-poor.