ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly session yesterday witnessed hullaballoo when the government and opposition parties levelled allegations at each other while discussing transparency in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) deal.

The house, at the fag-end of the proceeding, resounded with the slogans of ‘Go Nawaz go’ and ‘Go Imran go’ for around 15 minutes while discussing LNG deal involving a huge amount of money. Lawmakers from PTI and PML-N blew hot and cold and used some objectionable words, which were later expunged by speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

The situation turned messy over the remarks of Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in response to call-attention notice brought by PTI members. The minister remarked that he had already addressed the concerns of opposition a number of times at every forum about LNG deal.

Speaker Ayaz Sadiq successfully cooled down the lawmakers from both sides and referred the matter to standing committee concerned to resolve it.

“Unruly attitude and usage of inappropriate words from both sides should not be practiced. I have expunged these words,” he said and warned PTI members to stop raising slogans or he would adjourn the house before taking up their call-attention notice. PTI lawmakers Dr Shireen Mazari and Jhangir Tareen posed volley of questions about transparency in LNG deal. Minister Abbasi said he would face opposition concerns at every platform. “If you (opposition) just want to secure political points then you deserve congratulation,” he said, adding that a long-term contract for import of LNG from Qatar has been approved by Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).

The minister said the price for import of LNG has been finalised. “Pakistan will have the cheapest LNG in Asia but unfortunately this issue has been politicised,” he said and termed LNG the shortest solution to energy crisis in the country.

He said SNGLP MD Saif-ur-Rahman stepped down because of his performance. “This is a transparent deal; it is easy to level allegations. Nobody can blame government for corruption without any proof,” he added.

The house also saw furore when PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai, on point of order, said that there was a need of amendment in rules and procedure of the national assembly for the recitation of ‘Naat’ in the house. “There is need of amendment in rules before starting recitation of ‘Naat’ in the house,” he said, inviting criticism from lawmakers from opposition and government benches.

Capt (r) Muhamad Safdar from PML-N said that he would not be part of the lower house if anyone objected at the recitation of Naat. Everyone should welcome this positive change, he said, in an emotional tone.

Responding to PML-N lawmaker, Shazia Marri from PPP said that there was no need to disturb peaceful atmosphere of the house. “What message you (Safdar) are trying to convey, as already (many) people have been martyred (due to extremism)... (You) need not teach us Islam,” she said, adding that Mehmood Achakzai had not opposed the recitation of Naat but pointed out a legal anomaly.

Speaker timely intervened and controlled the tense situation in the house. “Mehmood Achakzai was unaware about the amendment in rules, as he only wants amendment in the rules for the recitation of Naat,” he clarified.

Earlier, journalists staged walkout from the proceedings of the house over attack on ARY TV channel’s office.

Information Minister Pervez Rashid told the house that government has made security arrangements for all the media houses. “A meeting has been convened to review the security arrangements of the media houses,” he said, adding that investigation was being carried out to nab the culprits.

“Attackers could not succeed in their nefarious design but managed to flee the scene,” he said, adding that ‘panic button’ was unfortunately not pressed timely to alert security. “We all have to jointly fight against terrorism,” he added.

Raising serious concerns, PTI lawmaker Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that government should clarify its stance about ‘Deash’ presence in the country. “How terrorism could be removed without adopting clear stance,” he said. “Where are claims about safe city as attackers approached at a media house near sensitive buildings,” he maintained.

Nafeesa Shah from PPP, on her turn, said that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan should share details of the incident with the house. Sheikh Rashid from AML, Sahibzada Tariq Ullah from JI, Saman Sultana from MQM and other also condemned the attack on media house. They said that proper enquiry of the incident should be conducted.

PPP lawmaker Ameer Jamot pointed out incomplete quorum at the start of the proceeding and the house therefore remained suspended for around 50 minutes.

The house also passed ‘The Islamabad Subordinate Judiciary Service Tribunal Bill, 2015’. According to the bill, the establishment of subordinate judiciary service tribunal will give relief to the litigants against the decisions of the Islamabad High Court. Another bill, The Federal Judicial Academy (Amendment) Bill, 2015, was also passed by the house.