ISLAMABAD   -    The treasury and the opposition Wednesday in the Senate came close to blows following a “controversial speech” of the JUI-F lawmaker for the second consecutive day alleging Prime Minister Imran Khan for distorting the Islamic history.

Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani adjourned the house earlier for another day following an altercation between former chairman Senate and PPP Senator Raza Rabbani and the ruling PTI Senator Noman Wazir Khattak.

The chair again, first on Tuesday, gave the floor to JUI-F lawmaker Moulana Attaur Rehman to take part in the budget debate. However, he instead used it to criticize the PM for allegedly distorting the Islamic history. The treasury benches again opposed his speech and protested asking Sanjrani that the lawmaker should be restrained to only budget speech.

Rabbani along with other lawmakers tried to defuse the situation, and convinced Senator Rehman to limit himself to debate on the Finance Bill 219-20 only. But Senator Khattak entered into an altercation with Rabbani when JUI-F senator again used the floor to criticise PM Khan.

Rabbani had gone to the seat of Khattak to convince him to cool down as he more than once had entered into hot arguments with the JUI-F senator.

This infuriated other PPP lawmakers including Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar who came forward to treasury benches to rescue their colleague. At this stage, the sergeants-at-arms had to intervene to prevent the senators from fighting with each other and the chair adjourned the house till today.

The PML-N and PPP which had remained silent the other day over the remarks of PM regarding Islamic history in his late night address to the nation on June 11, for the first time endorsed the reservations repeatedly shown by the JUI-F. Both said that “PM should not distort the Islamic history if he had little knowledge about it.”

On the outset of the session, when PPP Senator Bahramand Tangi got the floor to speak on the federal budget, Senator Rehman resisted that he should be allowed to speak as the chair on Tuesday had adjourned the house earlier in the middle of his speech. “I had not completed my speech.” After an intervention of Leader of the Opposition Raja Zafarul Haq, the chair agreed that the lawmaker would get the chance after Tangi. PPP lawmaker in his speech criticized both PTI and PM Imran Khan for their failure to fulfil the promises made to the people during electioneering and in their manifesto.

Attaur Rehman, on his turn, again used the floor to criticize the PM for his alleged “controversial remarks”.

The chair expunged some of his remarks about the PM which were regarded as un-parliamentary by the ruling PTI. “I will use my budget speech to condemn PM on the issue because he had used his budget spec to utter such remarks.”

The treasury resisted his remarks as Leader of the House Shibli Faraz said that they would not let him speak on the “issue which was tantamount to incitement of religious hatred.”

“PPP and PML-N, are showing criminal silence on the issue and they will have to give the answer to the people of Pakistan,” he said adding that especially former was negating from its ideology for remaining silent. He said that everybody had freedom of expression but there was a code of conduct to speak and JUI senator should limit his debate to budget.

The remarks of Senator Faraz provoked Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Senator Mushahid Ullah Khan to rise from his seat by saying that anybody in this house has the right of freedom of expression. “You cannot bulldoze any one.” He showed his surprise and said that this was a unique example in the world that treasury was playing the role of opposition. He said that Senator Rehman was right because PM uttered those words about Islamic history. “This is on the record,” he said and added: “I ask the ruling party to say PM not to talk on religious issues.”

PPP Senator Moula Bukhsh Chandio took the floor and said that it was not the opposition’s lone responsibility to run the house rather it was also of treasury benches. Those remarks should be avoided that disturb the atmosphere of house, he said. “But tell the PM that he should not talk on those matters about which he did not know.”

He further said that the PM should not talk about Islamic history if he did not know. He also invited treasury to sit on opposition benches if they like this role.

Earlier, the Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati laid the Assets Declaration Ordinance, 2019 in the house. The house will give its recommendations on the money bill, also known as tax amnesty scheme, to the National Assembly.