ISLAMABAD - Treasury and opposition benches yesterday traded barbs in a one-day national assembly sitting with the latter announcing to ‘fight the battle without demanding NRO’ and the former vowing to pursue the accountability process sans any discrimination.

The government and opposition, in a two-hour long session summoned on the requisition of opposition, discussed the recent arrests of opposition legislators and non-issuance of their production orders.

PML-N’s parliamentary leader Khwaja Muhammad Asif, initiating the debate on inflation and arrest of opposition members, accused the incumbent government of pursuing a “vendetta” against opposition.

“We [Opposition] are not demanding NRO and would continue to fight with grace and respect but this battle would cause a loss for the general public,” said Kh. Asif while blaming the government for the alleged “even-handed” accountability.

Kh Asif says Nawaz will triumph again

About the party’s supermo Nawaz Sharif, he said that there was no allegation of corruption against Nawaz Sharif.

“Nawaz Sharif’s name will live long and my leader (Nawaz Sharif) will triumph again,” he said in an emotional tone, repeating his claims. He said the former prime minister was disqualified only for not declaring his salary.

About the leaked video scandal, he said the accountability judge was sent back but the former prime minister was still in jail.

About the arrest of PML-N MNA Rana Sanaullah, he strongly condemned his arrest. “The First Information Report is ridiculous as it says Rana Sana Ullah picked up 20 kilogram heroin with one hand.... Does he look like muscular to lift this weight,” he said, mentioning that his arrested colleague also had not demanded his production orders.

“It is my request that these happenings are not good for politicians...If you carry out accountability without any discrimination, we will stand with you,” he remarked. He also came down hard on the government for alleged increase in inflation in the country. He said all should learn a lesson from history.

Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) Shehryar Afridi, while responding to the opposition lawmaker, said that the ANF had “complete evidence” to prove charges levelled against Sanaullah.

“No one is above the law and the operation against Rana Sana Ullah was conducted without any discrimination,” he said.

On the basis of credible information, he said, Sanaullah was being monitored for three weeks and finally he was apprehended with a cache of drugs. He said that the PML-N MNA was caught red-handed so there was no need of additional remand.

“No compromise will be made with those who are involved in drug trafficking and more prominent personalities will be arrested. About ANF, he said as many as 2900 personnel of ANF have been playing a key role in eradicating the menace of drug from society.

PPP-P’s senior MNA Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, while taking part in the debate, said that the country’s economic situation is getting deteriorated.

About the commission on the Reko Diq award, he asked for calling a joint sitting of the parliament to debate this matter. He said the terms of reference of the commission [formed by government] should be finalised and approved by the parliament. He said the lawmakers should avoid passing comments on each other and discuss meaningful debate.

 He was of the view that the production orders of the arrested members should be issued so that they could to represent their constituencies.

Taking part in the debate, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that production orders of any member of assembly can be issued for allowing him to raise the issues of his constituency, not forwarding their personal issues at the floor of the House.

PML-N senior member Ahsan Iqbal, on his turn, said that there was a need to introduce a good tradition of issuing production orders of arrested members. “You [Speaker] should give a ruling for issuing production orders of all the arrested members,” he said mentioning that the opposition was ready ‘for a battle’.

He was of the view that the government was afraid of his party’s supermo Nawaz Sharif.  Though the national assembly session was summoned on the requisition of opposition but the house saw very thin presence of opposition lawmakers.