For another day since the start of this week, I am forced to wonder, nonstop, as to why our media should pay any attention to what’s happening in the National Assembly of Pakistan.

No doubt, 342 members had reached there while springing through the intense heat and fire that the elections of July 2018 had triggered. Fairly a large number of them comprised youthful first-timers to a directly elected house.

We sincerely expected them to furnish unbounded energy to its proceedings. Even if unable to find effective means of resolving our accumulated issues, they could at least shake the status-quo loving elite to wake up to them.

Power, they say, makes you corrupt. In our luckless country, though, it makes you complacent at least. And the same has happened to this National Assembly within 15 months of its existence.

After holding relatively brief and yawn-inducing meetings in the evenings of previous Monday and Tuesday, the assembly went for a two-day break. Lest you forget, such breaks during an ongoing session of the National Assembly are considered “working days” and “our representatives” are handsomely paid for them.

The cloud-covered Islamabad of these days looks gloomy; the bone-tickling air discourages you from moving out of heated rooms. Yet, I motivated myself to act brave.

Driving to Parliament House, I anxiously anticipated an impassioned debate in the house for locating the real causes of the mayhem Lahore had endured three days ago.

Our regular and social media could just not forget and forgive the anarchic scenes, the do-or-die looking showdown between two warring “tribes” of young doctors and lawyers had produced in Lahore Wednesday.

Even amidst the viciously waged wars, hospitals are seldom attacked. But here a state of the art facility taking care of heart patients was recklessly attacked by an enraged mob of lawyers. During long hours of this attack, we failed to notice any presence of “law enforcing” outfits. A historic city of vibrant millions rather looked as if abandoned to the furious whims of a barbaric mob.

Friday proceedings of the National Assembly made me wonder, however, whether Lahore was still a city of Pakistan. Appearing completely oblivious to what had happened there, only two days ago, the half-deserted house dealt with the Question Hour with business-as-usual type comfort. The House also delivered some “legislative business,” close to the call for Juma prayers. That’s about it.

The National Assembly would meet again on Monday evening and until then we have to keep watching the regular and social media to find answers to questions, burning our hearts, over what had happened in Lahore since Wednesday. The House of “Our representatives,” i.e., the National Assembly of Pakistan, was simply not pushed about these questions.

It’s obviously callous indifference to a recent incident should rather persuade us to realize that this house does not care for our pain. Its members do not represent us. They don’t even want to fake as if speaking for us. They just prefer to enjoy their comfort.

Things don’t look so honky-dory for some opposition members, though. Some of their lead stars had been sent to jails or for deep probing by NAB for allegedly committing serious crimes of corruption and money laundering. The Speaker, Asad Qaiser, had not been signing the production orders to ensure their presence in house proceedings. For many months, the opposition had been pleading and beseeching for “justice and humane treatment” for its lead stars. The PTI government continued to act arrogantly deaf to their wailing.

Now, the government does need some “working understanding” with the opposition. A “constitutional office,” Chief Election Commissioner, remains vacant for more than a week. Our Constitution enjoins that the new Election Commissioner should be selected through “consensus.”

As if that were not enough to invoke “compassion,” in government’s heart, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had also asked the “elected parliament” to set the terms and tenure of a highly significant office, through appropriate legislation.

Before formally approaching the opposition for delivering on these counts, the rulers of these days had certainly opted to take some Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). Nawaz Sharif, “sentenced for a long term in jail” for allegedly committing serious crimes of corruption, had been allowed to proceed abroad for being diagnosed and treated, appropriately.

Asif Ali Zardari, serving time in NAB’s custody, had also been granted the bail on “medical grounds.” Asad Qaiser had signed on the production orders for Khawaja Saad Rafique and Shahid Khakan Abbasi. Rana Sanaullah has yet to grab his attention, though, and Syed Khurshid Shah, apparently is not being able to travel to Islamabad from Sukkur on “health grounds.”

The government and the opposition are yet not able to reach consensus for the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner, however. Initially, it seemed that Babar Yaqub Fateh Mohammad would get the slot, thanks to the government-initiated CBMs. Too late in day, however, some PML-N members suddenly recalled that the said gentleman had been serving as a powerful Secretary of the Election Commission in July 2018, when the previous elections were held.

The PML-N keeps sticking to the allegation that those elections were massively “managed and manipulated.” The upward mobility of Babar Yaqub Fateh Mohammad, as the Chief Election Commissioner, by consensus, would demolish its “rigging” story. Instead of him, the PML-N seems willing to agree to another nominee of the Prime Minister, Fayyaz Mecan. Both the government and the opposition were almost reaching an agreement on his name.

But after finding out as to why the opposition resisted the appointment of Fateh Mohammad, my sources insist, Prime Minister Imran Khan had turned almost adamant in his support. The Opposition is now being told that in return to accepting Fateh Mohammad’s appointment, it can get its nominees selected as two members of the Election Commission, representing Sindh and Balochistan. The PML-N continues playing hard to get.

Lest you forget, with the advent of the ongoing session, Khawaja Asif of the PML-N had made the “breaking news” by delivering a thundering speech in the National Assembly. In the said speech, he accused the PTI for covertly sponsoring the staging of a picket outside a building in London, where Nawaz Sharif is staying with his sons these days.

After holding the PTI responsible for it, he had categorically told the government that the opposition would no more engage in any deliberation for the appointment of the Chief Election Commission. He had also hinted at not being available to cooperate, when it would come to “the legislation,” regarding a highly important appointment, as desired by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

In spite of the said speech, the government and the opposition continue to “consult” each other, at least regarding the appointment of Chief Election Commissioner. I was thus not so wrong to forewarn you that never take the claims seriously, uttered in the current National Assembly from either side of the aisle, with full-throated “resolve.”