ISLAMABAD - The Senate once again on Wednesday witnessed unprecedented scenes as Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and PML-N leader Senator Mushahidullah Khan, for the second time, traded barbs against each other bringing the house to a standstill.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Senator Mushahidullah Khan kept on accusing each other and remained sticking to their points. Mr Chaudhry insisted that Senator Khan got appointed his brothers at the lucrative posts in state-owned Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) during the last PML-N government.

While Mr Khan, who is the parliamentary leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the Senate, stressed that the minister should prove his allegations. He asked the minister to quit if he failed to prove the allegations against him or otherwise he would step down if the allegations were proved to be true.

The house had witnessed similar scenes last week as both had entered into a verbal about the remarks made by the Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on the floor of the National Assembly that Senator Khan got appointed his brother at lucrative posts in PIA.

There was furore in the house as both loudly shouted at each other and at one point, Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani warned the minister that he would be left with no option but to force him to leave the house.

This all started when information minister during the question hour session took the floor of the house to reply a question but was interrupted by Senator Khan who reminded the chair that the minister should first apologise over the allegations he made against him earlier on the floor of the National Assembly. He also denied having got inducted female members of his family in the airlines but said one of his cousins was part of PIA.

On this, the minister said that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was investigating the matter and he should wait for the outcome. The chair was of the view that the minister had already apologised.

“He is a liar, a fraudster and working for a foreign agency,” Khan alleged and added, "Let the inquiry end before you come to parliament.”

On repeated requests of the chair, the minister finally apologised for using ‘derogatory language’ in the house. But he plainly refused to apologise for what he had said against Senator Khan and PPP leader as well as MNA Syed Khursheed Shah.

“My point of view is that these people played havoc with state institutions. He [Khan] got his brothers appointed and other relatives on lucrative posts in PIA, which is now facing a loss of Rs360 billion, Khurshid Shah, who headed a cabinet committee once, regularised 1,63000  contract employees in one go,” he said.

The leader of the House Senator Shibli Faraz, and some other senators tried to calm down the situation but Senator Khan kept on insisting that the minister must prove his allegations.

PPP Senator Raza Rabbani regretted that he had been in Senate for the last 26 years, but never witnessed such an environment before. He viewed that the proceedings of the house should be suspended in such s situation. “We must ensure dignity and prestige of the house as well as abide by the rules and rulings of the chair,” he said adding that Senate chairman's ruling could not be challenged whether it is right or wrong. 

Later, the government and opposition lawmakers as well as some cabinet members took both to the opposition’s lobby and succeeded to have reconciliation between them.

Later, the opposition staged a protest walkout from the house over the remarks of PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan what an opposition Senator Saadia Abbasi said that “how he dared to use unparliamentarily remarks against the opposition.”

“I congratulate the chairman for conducting first session of the new government smoothly otherwise some people sitting in the house have only status of sitting on the (sewerage) nullahs.” said Senator Faisal Javed which caused quite a stir among opposition benches.

The position parties staged a protest walkout from the house over the remarks and in the meantime, an opposition lawmaker pointed out quorum. Though the government convinced the opposition to come back in the house, the chairman Senate resumed the proceeding without making a count as the house was still short of required quorum having total presence of 12 members.

Later, Senator Faisal Javed Khan condemned the remarks made earlier in the house by Senator Raza Rabbani about government and its ministers.