ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly on Thursday witnessed pandemonium throughout the proceedings as parliamentarians from treasury and opposition mostly engaged in verbal brawl on multiple matters including K-Electric.

Throwing headphones on opponents by one Member of National Assembly, strict warnings to MNAs on un-parliamentary behaviour by the Chair, and sloganeering and exchange of heated remarks dominated over legislative business in the House.

The tense situation saw its peak when a minister Murad Saeed started reading out confessional statement of Uzair Baloch. The opposition [PPP-P], taking advantage of thin presence in the house, smartly disrupted the proceedings by pointing out lack of required strength.

The lawmakers from both sides, with the outset of proceedings, engaged in verbal brawl on a call-attention notice on a matter of K-Electric [load-shedding in Karachi]. Federal minister Umar Ayub Khan blamed the previous government for creating a mess in K-Electric.

Rs1m each provided to families of guards martyred in PSX attack

Minister said the K-electric had not upgraded its system over the years. He assured the federal government to help K-electric for building its capacity. Minister, despite facing interruption from opposition, held responsible previous governments [the PPP and the PML-N] for weak distribution of transmission.

 

“The cabinet committee on energy called emergency meetings and summoned officials from KE, NEPRA, and the NTDC to settle the situation,” he said, mentioning that the K-Electric was privatised during the PML-Q government. The Minister said that 30mm cubic feet per day (cfd) gas would be given from other cities to Karachi which would be used to produce 200 megawatt of energy. “It is mainly the responsibility of previous government,” he said.

 

Minister for Planning Asad Umar, adding his share, recalled the opposition party [PPP-P] of its claim to end load shedding within six months. While talking about PPP’s government in Zulfiqar Bhutto’s era, he recalled there was no electricity in Karachi the entire night and they found out in the morning that there had been a coup and General Zia had taken over. “They have been involved in load-shedding for 35 years,” he said, facing uproar from opposition benches.

 

The previous governments had not taken steps to increase electricity production in Karachi or improve transmission system. Asad Umar was twice interrupted by PPP-P’s young MNA Agha Rafi Ullah. “You need to learn from seniors,” said Asad Umar. Deputy speaker, on it, warned Agha Rafi Ullah for interrupting the minister. “You [Agha Rafi Ullah] always try to create a mess, it is against the norms of the house,” he said.

 

PPP-P’s parliamentary leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, on a point of order, said the incumbent government should now show performance and stop blaming previous governments. “Minister instead of giving answers to questions opted to blame previous governments,” he said, the blame-game of government can continue only for initial three months.

 

“Two years have passed. You have to deliver now,” he said, criticising the treasury benches for creating mess in the house. He further said that the entire board of KE was under the federal government.

 

Minister for communication Murad Saeed while responding to the PPP-P’s senior member started reading out confessional statement of Uzair Baloch. Referring to the JIT report, he said the gangster was patronised by the PPP leadership. “Uzair Baloch was involved in the killing of innocent people and extortion,” he said, mentioning that he [Uzair Baloch] took over 14 sugar mills on the directions of Asif Ali Zardari. Minister, facing sloganeering and rumpus from PPP-P’s MNA, said that the facilitators of Uzair Baloch were sitting in the house.

 

He was trying to read out all the report but PPP-P MNA pointed out lack of quorum in the house. The opposition members, chanting anti-government slogans, left the house in protest and the chair has to suspend the proceedings due to lack of quorum. MNA from opposition Shazia Soomro, in a fit of pique, even threw a headphone over the minister but it did not hit him.

 

The Chair after the break of half an hour adjourned the proceedings due to lack of required quorum.

Earlier, the house was informed that one million rupees each are provided to the bereaved families of the private security guards martyred in the terrorist attack on Karachi Stock Exchange.

Parliamentary Secretary for Interior Shaukat Ali Khan said one policeman was also martyred in the terrorist attack and his family has been provided Shuhada Assistance Package.

 

“The government is also considering bringing a legislation to make it binding on the private security companies to provide assistance to their guards in case of their deaths in such incidents,” he said, mentioning that security personnel valiantly foiled the terrorist attack on Karachi Stock Exchange in a matter of eight minutes.

 

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan laid before the house the annual report of Universal Service and Research and Development Fund of the federal government. The annual report of the National Economic Council for the Financial Year 2018-19 was also laid before the house.