As soon as possible, I certainly need to consult a shrink to get the level of masochism checked that seems to have sneaked into the foundations of my personality. For me the reasons are obvious.

Being a self-proclaimed “specialist” of instinctively fathoming the dominating trends of parliamentary business, I should have easily discovered the past Friday that the PTI was adamantly determined not to let the opposition leader, Shahbaz Sharif, initiate the general discussion on first budget of the Imran Khan Government.

Yet, all dressed up I left my home to reach the national assembly at the earliest Monday afternoon. The House took an hour to assemble. After procedural dispensing of the opening formalities, the Speaker invited Shahbaz Sharif to deliver his speech.

All the PPP members, meanwhile, had stood up to demand the floor for Raja Pervez Ashraf, a former prime minister. Through him they wanted to remind Asad Qaisar that he had yet not signed the production order to ensure the presence of Asif Ali Zardari in house proceedings.

The PML-N members expressed solidarity with them by standing up from their seats. Akhtar Mengal, otherwise a presumed ally of the government, also stood in their support.

The Speaker remained stuck to the position that the rules dictate that the Opposition leader should speak first to trigger general discussion on budgetary proposals. He would only allow anyone else to speak on a point of order, once he finished his speech.

Although all-set to deliver his speech, Shahbaz Sharif kept urging the Speaker in all humility that Raja Pervez Ashraf should be “given just a minute” to make his point. After some resistance, Qaisar gave the floor to him.

While sitting in the press gallery we could not hear a word of Raja Pervez Ashraf’s plea. His otherwise loud voice was drowned out by the ear-piercing chants of “Karachi Koo Pani Doo (give water to Karachi)” that the treasury benches kept repeating with fierce desk thumping.

The aggressive handling of Raja Ashraf was not enough to turn them calm. The moment, Shahbaz Sharif started his speech, more than 20 legislators of the ruling party left their seats. Almost standing on immediate left of the opposition leader they kept calling him “Dakoo-Dakoo (a dacoit).”

A fairly large number of ministers also sprang up from their seats to furnish the vocal back up support to them. That encouraged the Dakoo-chanting crowd to attempt getting closer to Shahbaz Sharif and hurl the said refrain at him with ‘in your face’ vigor.

Ejaz Shah, the minister of interior, almost orchestrated the disruptive din. Dr. Shireen Mazari, Shafqat Mehmud and Ghulam Sarwar looked possessed by vicious demons.

As if to create the illusion of attempting to “enforce discipline”, the minister of parliamentary affairs, Ali Mohammad Khan, and the Chief Whip, Amir Dogar, were seen persuading their colleagues not to come too close to Shahbaz Sharif. Their half-hearted attempts didn’t appear working, though.

Once upon a time, Shahbaz Sharif would often display his passionate vigor by throwing down the clusters of microphones, placed on a dais put before him. In fits of anger he also used to wag his index finger as if to forewarn his critics and political opponents of dire consequences.

He remained unusually calm, composed and in control Monday afternoon and tried really hard to continue reading a lengthy and keenly drafted text of his speech. The non-stop shouts of “Dakoo-Dakoo” and “TT-TT-TT” from the treasury benches completely drowned his voice. The crowd huddled on his left also began slipping closer to him with fast-building ferocity.

Not one person from the front benches of the opposition left his or her seat to erect a protection wall around Shahbaz Sharif. But a group of around ten women members from the PML-N backbenches could take it no more.

They left their seats and seemed setting to reach closer to the crowd, shouting at their leader. Fearing ugly scenes of possible brawls, the Speaker adjourned the house in panic until Tuesday morning.

After his leaving the presidential chair, the PML-N members did not leave the house. Like an assaulting crowd they moved too close to the group that had been chanting disruptive slogans to unnerve Shahbaz Sharif. They took on the person of Prime Minister and one of his very close relative with rude and loud chants. Overcome with the fear of an unpleasant scene, I fled from the press gallery.

I seriously doubt that the PTI will ever let Shahbaz Sharif complete his speech on the budget. Unless he delivers it, no one else, either from the government or the opposition, could be asked to make us feel that the budgetary proposals, tabled before the house last week, were “appropriately” debated-about. Throughout this week, the Speaker would be forced to adjourn the house with sincere-looking excuse of preventing total chaos.

Even if the opposition leader opts to appear as if “running away” from initiating the general discussion on the budget, the Chairman PPP would also not be allowed to deliver a comprehensive speech.

With full-throated shouts of “Karachi Koo Pani Doo,” the ruling party legislators had already blocked his speech twice in recent weeks. Bilawal Bhutto Zaradri has yet to find a doable strategy to scuttle the tried and tested method employed against him.

We should thus not expect an educative general discussion on a budget that Dr. Hafiz Sheikh had prepared for the Imran Khan Government, with the sole intent to enabling Pakistan in getting a bail out package from the IMF. The opposition will have no space to expose, elaborate and highlight the biting sides of his answer to our economic malaise.

With the advent of the next week, however, we will reach the second phase of the budget passing rituals. Normally, the opposition attempts to delay this phase by suggesting, “cut motions” to proposals allocating definite amounts to important ministries.

The disruptive strategy adopted by the ruling party will certainly not work in that phase. Eventually, the government may feel compelled to put the budget-passing process on a fast track by arrogantly disregarding the number-strong opposition.

The government can certainly not “get there” without being visibly bullying and bulldozing. To achieve that, it may also need to throw some vocal opposition members out of the house with muscular help furnished by Sergeants-at-arms, who have to act on command of the Speaker. The government surely has numbers to get its first budget passed, even with enforced head counts. The PML-Q of the Chaudhries of Gujrat and the MQM are just not interested to join the opposition in voting out the proposed budget.

But to prove a “clear majority,” the government also needs to ensure that not less than at least 150 members attend all sittings during next week, after which we will reach the stage of cut motions and clause-by-clause approval of the proposed budget.