After enduring more than three decades of watching and dealing with our politicos, I refused to believe that they really care as to what commoners like you and I fee   l about their doings. In a quasi-democracy like ours, they mostly aspire to look clean, good and efficient etc., to other stakeholders of the power structure.

Pervez Khattak, the former Chief Minister of KP, holding the portfolio of Defense for the PTI government in Islamabad these days, is a very experienced politician. Although in the habit of studiously lying low, he always relies on his sharp instincts to spot trouble and attempts to prevent it by shrewd handling.

He did surprise me by asking for the permission to speak right in the middle of the question hour on a point of order. After given the floor, he straight came to admitting that during PTI’s parliamentary party meeting of Thursday, chaired by the Prime Minister, he had urged his colleagues to act polite during the assembly proceedings. “We must not provoke the opposition with unparliamentarily remarks while expecting that the other side will also avoid using bad language.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan, he reported, approved his idea and assigned him the task of taking the opposition leaders on board. He suggested that a committee of senior parliamentarians from all sides of the house should be formed to prescribe a “code of conduct” to ensure “positive and productive discussions on the floor.”

Mian Shehbaz Sharif, the opposition leader, instantly welcomed his suggestion and so did a former prime minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, from the PPP benches.

Minutes before Khattak’s intervention, we had seen a bitter exchange of barbs and taunts between Rohail Asghar Sheikh and Fawad Hussain. The Information Minister provoked him by passing taunting remarks related to doings of the previous government that he keeps describing as a bunch of reckless plunderers.

Sheikh is a street hardened Lahori, who took years to develop a polite and humble veneer. He found it difficult, however, to let it pass Thursday and used a derogatory expression for the information minister.

One presumed that Khattak was not happy with the conduct of information minister and the instant expression of displeasure on Fawad Chaudhry’s face confirmed my hunch. Some reporters, however, felt that Khattak tried to manage calm and order in the house; because, Prime Minister Imran Khan was expected there.

Few reporters claimed to have been tipped by some media managers that the Prime Minister might not show his face in the house only. He could deliver a speech as well to highlight salient points agreed to during his recent visit to China. One did not expect it happening, though.

Most of parliamentary reporters have yet not discovered that the Chinese culture and diplomacy were all about discretion. Both the PPP and the PML-N know it well due to their own experience in previous governments.

Perhaps they were also approached by some concerned quarters and asked not to push the Prime Minister to tell-all via a speech in the national assembly of Pakistan regarding his recent visit to China. Mian Shehbaz Sharif had diligently prepared a long list of ticklish questions, otherwise. But he does not appear keen to put them in the house anymore.

By pressing for a “code of conduct,” Pervez Khattak was certainly not trying to smoothen things, only for a day, for his prime minister. His worries have a deeper source. I have no hard facts to substantiate my gut feeling though.

Yet the fact remains that Pervez Khattak is not the one and only seemingly too worried about the collective image of our parliamentarians of these days. Not only Shehbaz Sharif but also many seniors on the opposition benches are feeling equally jittery about it.

Even after sincerely agreeing to a well-articulated code of conduct for dispensing the parliamentary agenda, no one can ensure smooth sailings in this assembly. The ruling party has to abandon rubbing in its favorite spin to explain the current state of Pakistan to reach there.

Since taking over, the PTI keeps shouting before the world that it inherited a near-bankrupt economy. Foreign Exchange Reserves have depleted to an alarming level. That forced the Prime Minister to visit brotherly and friendly countries with a begging bowl. Although, after taking over, Imran Khan had clearly told a group of TV anchors that at least for another three months he did not intend to leave for a foreign visit.

He could not live up to his promise; went to Saudi Arabia, not once but twice and have recently completed a five-day visit to China. He still needs to visit two more countries in coming weeks.

For sure, Imran Khan does not feel good to visit friends to seeking out financial cushion before sending his finance minister to IMF for negotiating the bailout package for Pakistan.

Probably to clam the hurt pride of their leader, some of his hawkish and vocal loyalists keep drumming the theme that Imran Khan was forced to face an uncomfortable mess due to the “loot and plunder,” recklessly indulged into by previous governments of both the PPP and the PML-N.

Constant employing of the said spin with aggressive use of the vocabulary, which President Trump has adopted for his tweet writing, hurts and provokes many on the opposition benches. Thus every second day, in this assembly we suffer ugly scenes that remind you of a schoolyard crowded by juvenile bullies.