ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly yesterday saw the worst rumpus by the opposition members as the house echoed with whistle blowing and heavy sloganeering throughout the proceedings.

The chair, despite all attempts from opposition to disrupt the proceedings, continued to take legislative business in almost one-hour proceedings.

With onset of proceedings, PML-N’s parliamentary leader Khwaja Muhammad Asif tried to take the floor to speak on matters relating to ongoing controversy over the arrest of Capt(R) Muhammad Safdar and other related matters.

The chair refused to give the floor and preferred to take ‘order of the day’. On it, the charged opposition members gathered around speaker’s podium and chanted anti-government slogans.

In a novel style of protest, one opposition member distributed whistles among his colleagues including women lawmakers. Most of opposition members led by senior parliamentarian Khwaja Muhammad Asif started blowing whistles in protest. The women lawmakers from opposition were also not shy to blow whistles.

The opposition members also tore up copies of the agenda and kept throwing the pieces in the air. Some of the members folded the copies of the agenda and made planes of paper. They also flew these paper planes in the hall of the National Assembly.

Though the chair faced much difficulty to continue proceedings amid heavy sloganeering and noise of whistles, yet he managed to run the proceedings for around one-hour.

“I will run the proceedings according to the rules...Maintain social distance, avoid sloganeering in the house,” the chair kept advising the opposition members, who were chanting slogans against the prime minister. They were also holding placards inscribed with ‘Selected’ and ‘PM Selected’.

The opposition members, despite the private members’ day [fixed for opposition], ignored their legislative business and kept blowing whistles. It was hard for the members of treasury benches to respond to the chair on bills in a noisy atmosphere.

The opposition also made a failed attempt to disrupt the proceedings as the entire opposition left the house and one of them pointed out quorum in the house. Whereas, the required strength [86 MNAs] was present in the house.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi, taking the floor on a point of order, said the opposition had ignored private members day. “Private members day is fixed to take the business of opposition but they came up with childish acts,” he said, mentioning that the chair should reject their bills which were on the agenda.

The opposition members, in the middle of foreign minister’s speech, once again blowing whistles entered the house.

 

 “You will keep blowing whistles for the next three years,” commented Qureshi, quickly winding up his point of order.

The opposition, in its second attempt to disrupt the proceedings, managed to suspend the proceedings. The chair, after the break of Maghrib prayer, abruptly adjourned the proceedings due to lack of required strength.