ISLAMABAD   -   The opposition in Thursday’s National Assembly sitting registered strong protest over the arrest of PPP-P’s senior lawmaker Syed Khursheed Shah by NAB, terming it political victimization of opposition members.

The opposition, with the onset of proceedings, raised voice against the arrest of Shah. Wearing black-ribbons around their arms, they gathered around the speaker’s podium - asking the chair to give them floor to express their views about the arrest of the opposition MNA.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri, in conversation with opposition members, argued that five members have expressed their views about the arrest of Shah and now time should be consumed on legislative business.

The exchange of harsh words between opposition and government members seemingly forced the chair to immediately suspend the house to cool down the emotions.

PPP-P MNA Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the arrest of opposition members was actually the insult of parliament. “There should be a solid footing to arrest any member, doing so without evidence is a joke,” he said.

PPP-P’s Naveed Qamar, amid uproar in the house, said that the government should take care of the rights of the politicians. “Production orders of arrested members should be issued so that they could express their view,” he said.

PML-N’s parliamentary leader Khwaja Muhammad Asif, on his turn, said that politicians’ community should have unity among their ranks. “This is the community that should also respect the rights of each other,” he said.

About the arrest of Khursheed Shah, he said the arrested PPP-P MNA had always proved him with his soft attitude. “Khursheed Shah has been member of the parliament for the last 30 years...There is lot of respect for him in political circles,” he said, mentioning that it was a collective responsibility of all the political parties to work for the sanctity of Parliament.

Minister for Communication Murad Saeed, responding to the concerns raised by the opposition, said the NAB chairman was appointed by the previous government of PML-N with the consultation of PPP-P.

“Instead of creating rumpus over the arrest of their leaders, the opposition parties should raise the voice for the rights of Kashmiri people,” he said, the black-ribbons around their arms should have been for the people of Kashmir. He said that PML-N and PPP in the past used to accuse each other of committing corruption.

“We should give the message that the entire Pakistan and Parliament stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Kashmiri brethren,” he remarked.

Criticizing the opposition, he said that the PTI government with its efforts for the first time unmasked the real Hindutva face of India at the international level. He said the world is now supporting Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir.

About the situation in Occupied Kashmir, the minister said that Kashmiris were facing shortage of medicines, foods and other essential commodities.

The house throughout the proceedings saw thin presence on both sides of the aisle. The opposition lawmaker pointed out lack of strength and house was adjourned due to lack of required quorum.