Only the Ukrainian Parliament, which regularly devolves into fist fights, is a bigger spectacle than our National Assembly when it comes to the antics of the members of this august house. The session on Wednesday all but proved this, in what was supposed to be a meeting concerning the law and order situation in the country, which quickly digressed to a debate centered on Chaudhry Nisar’s remark regarding PTI and their “tamasha” concerning the verification of votes in the four disputed constituencies. His words caused an uproar on the opposition bench, and they demanded that the Interior Minister retract his ‘unparliamentary’ statement and issue an apology before the house resumed taking up any other issues. This, Nisar did not do, which led to the opposition walking out of the session in protest. Subsequently, there was an attempt to resume the proceedings, albeit with a much quieter Assembly; however a member soon pointed out that there was a lack of quorum which brought an end to an entertaining, but ultimately useless session.

Given Nisar’s experience, it is unfathomable how he would misjudge a situation such as this and fail to realize that small concerns like this one can lead to much bigger and more annoying issues. All politicians should conduct themselves with more dignity and restraint when interacting with their peers. Although historical debates in the country have taken a different course, it is time our representatives’ start placing more emphasis on logic than their ability to be louder or ruder than others when arguing an issue in the interests of doing their jobs more effectively. Just because the National Assembly has been witness to more verbose displays of displeasure does not mean that using the word ‘tamasha’ is justified.

However, the opposition bench is doing no one any favors by walking out of a parliament session. The drama caused by this walkout did nothing but prove Nisar right. Instead of getting fixated on one word, Khursheed Shah should have taken the opportunity with Nisar on the back foot to bring forth issues that they wanted on the forefront. As a substitute for stubbornness, it would be more productive to get past this lapse and work on making the country more habitable for its ever-increasing population.  ‘Tamasha’, a word that has one half of the parliament fuming, does seem to describe the proceedings of most sessions in the most apt way possible. And the ability of our politicians to blow things out of proportion remains their most reliable weapon against any opponents.