ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly on Tuesday witnessed unusual scenes when Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Shehryar Afridi and PML-N’s MNA Rana Sana Ullah came face-to-face swearing and challenging each other on the issue of narcotics case against Rana Sana Ullah.

The chair, sensing the emotions from both sides, intervened in the verbal brawl and abruptly adjourned the proceedings of the house when the members from both sides challenged each other to take oath on the Holy Quran. 

Syed Fakhar Imam, chairing the house in the absence of the National Assembly speaker, timely intervened and suspended the house to cool down the emotions from both sides of aisle. “This is not a good tradition [Holding Quran in hand before speaking in house]. It should not be repeated,” said the chair. He was seemingly referring to a previous National Assembly sitting where Sanaullah had brought a copy of the Holy Quran and swore that he was innocent.

Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Shehryar Afridi, initiating the debate, challenged PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah to face the trail on January 18.

“Face the trail like a man. I, under oath, say that I am not part of any conspiracy and there was no conspiracy hatched against Rana Sana Ullah. I would face wrath of Allah if tell a lie,” said Afirdi on a personal explanation. He was interested to utter these words holding holy Quran in his hand but other party colleagues advised him to avoid it.

Minister said Rana Sanaullah did not want to face the court in the drug case filed against him by the ANF. “Rana sahib, learn to follow the Holy Quran. If you are speaking the truth, go to the courts and face like a man,” Afridi commented, on a personal explanation. He assured the opposition that the ruling party [PTI] was not involved in targeting the opposition members.

“Today you did not bring a copy of the Holy Quran, as you have brought a file in your hand,” he said and asked Rana Sanaullah to not use delaying tactics in his case. “We will not let you run away. Don’t try to run away, face your case. It is matter of my generation,” he said, mentioning that they would take the case to logical end.

Afridi further said Control of Narcotics Substances Act [CNSA] was not passed by incumbent government but the previous regimes. “Now Rana Sana Ullah is finding loopholes in the act, which was passed his government’s tenure,” he said. Rana Sanaullah, during the speech of Afridi, entered in the house and warm welcomed by his party colleagues by thumping desks, till he resumed the seat.

He, responding to the concern raised by the minister, denied his involvement in the case. “I would face God’s wrath, if I tell a lie. I have never been in contact with a heroin dealer or tried to influence on behalf of anyone in my tenure,” said the PML-N leader. He was of the view that the ANF officials had no idea about the case being prepared against him.

The lawmakers from opposition and government also engaged in verbal brawl and kept passing heated remarks against each other.

BILLS RELATED TO AMENDMENTS IN ELECTION RULES INRODUCE

The lawmakers from treasury benches introduced two important bills related to the changes in the rules of general elections. MNA Junaid Akbar introduces a bill with an aim to bring changes in the bye-elec tions. The statement of objects and reasons of the bill says “It is proposed to limit the participation in election by one candidate to two seats. It is proposed that the expenses of bye-election of the seat he resigned shall be borne by the winning candidate,” it said.

In another, he introduced amendment in the rules of reserved seats. The statement of objects and reasons of the bill says, “Some seats of the country get more representation. For equal representation of different areas, on reserved seats, of women and non-Muslims, in the National Assembly, direct elections are proposed,” it says.