LAHORE   -  Opposition members had a stonking good time at the Assembly stairs Monday evening. Taking a departure from the usual old-fashioned sit-in, the PML-N lawmakers found a novel way of demonstration to revive their dying spirit.

They started scaring away the ministers and the treasury MPAs as they passed by them from a distance. It was not a proverbial stone pelting though, yet they did resort to pelting them with mischievous slogans besides firing verbal bullets, grinning and hooting them in chorus. Sometimes they would chase away the vehicles chanting the slogans: “Donkey Raja Na Manzoor”, Kal Ka Daku Aaj Ka Bhai--Parvez Elahi Parvez Elahi”, “Chor Speaker Go” “Mok Gia Tera Show Niazi, Go Niazi, Go Niazi”.

They might have some other lethal slogans in their arsenal but they saved them for tomorrow and many other days to come. 

Provincial ministers including Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, Deputy Speaker Dost Mohammad Mazari and some treasury MPAs faced this verbal onslaught coming from the protesting opposition. Some choose to ignore their outcry and quickly passed through the ‘firing range to sit safely in their official cars. A few ladies from the Treasury, however, retaliated with equally disapproving remarks forcing TV cameramen to focus on them.

Earlier, the crowd on the Assembly stairs thinned out as Hamza Shehbaz left for his chamber though a few party activists also found their way to the Assembly to join the protest. After adjournment of the House, Hamza Shehbaz came out of his Assembly chamber to announce that parliamentary party will meet again on Tuesday (today) at 10 am to chalk out strategy for the remaining days of the budget session.

 Inside the House, Speaker Parvez Elahi was in the spotlight depicting his ‘deft handling’ of the political conflict arising out of his what the Opposition says “dictatorial orders” against six of their legislators. “There are seven more, also visible in the video doing horrendous acts on the Assembly floor. They must be penalized too”, announced the Speaker after Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz’s flat refusal to sit with him on the table to resolve the deadlock. Parvez Elahi also announced to constitute a House Committee to collect evidence against the remaining “unruly” legislators with the help of camera footage. The proposed committee whose members are yet to be named will complete its task within two weeks. It is not clear as yet whether or not the body will have equal representation from the two sides. Though the Speaker did not say it in so many words, but his decision to incriminate seven more lawmakers was the proverbial: “I don’t give a damn to it”.

 

MUBASHIR HASSAN