ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly, on the first private member day of its 4th session, Tuesday witnessed severe criticism of the PML-N government’s recent move over suspension of death penalty.

Some lawmakers, both from treasury and opposition, raising serious concerns over the government's action, sought proper laws to halt death penalty in the country.

The house with thin presence of legislators from both the sides deferred record 17 agenda items out of 19, and most of the time was spent on point of orders.

PTI legislator Engineer Ali Muhammad, on a point of order, drew attention of the House towards capital punishment, demanding the government to explain reasons for suspending it.

“Under which law Islamic punishment was suspended,” he questioned. He was of the view that this punishment, if implemented properly, could help minimise even terrorism in the country. “Islam pleads death penalty to murderers, but implementation on it has been stopped in Pakistan,” he added.

Another lawmaker from JUI-F, Amir Zaman, said the government should consider this issue properly as the Quranic laws could not be changed. “No Islamic law could be changed. The government cannot change the law of Qisas,” he asserted.

PPP legislator Azra Fazal Pechuho, taking the floor, said there was dire need to review laws in this matter as investigation process needed to be made better. “Terrorists should be punished, but what is the fault of those who had no legal aid to defend their cases?” she said, adding there should be difference between innocent and guilty.

It is relevant to mention here that the PML-N government has not made any change in the law of capital punishment and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has not passed any orders in this connection.

The House also witnessed reaction of both treasury and opposition benches to the prime minister’s maiden address to the nation as MNAs from the opposition termed it a speech without a clear policy.

“The PM has not given a clear economic and security policy to the masses who were expecting some good news,” a PPP member said, adding the PM looked confused while addressing the nation. His remarks infuriated PML-N MNA Abid Sher Ali who asked the MNA to use correct language for his leader. Speaker Iyaz Sadiq intervened and tackled the matter.

Another MNA from opposition benches, Sheharyar Afridi, on a point of order, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had not even uttered a single word about the Fata problems in his speech. He said no initiative was introduced about the Fata situation. PML-N’s Rohail Asghar remarked that the prime minister had great love for the country and its people. He asked the opposition members to avoid giving remarks against anyone’s leadership. “You can talk about action but not on person,” he added.

Taking the floor, MQM’s Sajid Ahmed said the government should inform the nation of its policy on drone attacks. He said the government should give proper attention to Pakistan Railways, PIA and Steel Mills.

Earlier, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said begging had penetrated very deep in the society and the whole nation was being converted into beggars. “Beggars have different categories; some of them are political and social,” he remarked. He also came down hard on NGOs, saying they were also beggars. He gave a suggestion that funds might be given to these NGOs through the Ministry of Finance. “Around two million youth are becoming unemployed every year,” he said while sharing a shocking fact.