ISLAMABAD          -         The frequent use of un-parliamentary language in the budget debate by some MNAs yesterday forced Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser to warn MNAs to avoid the practice, otherwise he would suspend their memberships for the current session.

The National Assembly house, in the last few days, has witnessed the use of derogatory and provocative language by MNAs, which contravenes the norms of proper parliamentary behaviour. In Tuesday’s session, the Speaker NA asked members to stop using objectionable words in the house. Giving reference to Rule-20, Asad Qaiser reminded the house that he has authority to suspend membership.

“I am custodian of the house, I will not allow any member from both sides of the aisle to use objectionable word in the house,” he said, mentioning the name of PPP-P’s Abdul Qadir Patel for using derogatory remarks in the house.

“I will thoroughly review this matter, will watch the video of members who used objectionable language in the house,” he said, referring to speeches delivered by the members from government and opposition on Monday.

Senior members from PML-N Khwaja Muhammad Asif and PPP-P’s Naveed Qamar pointed out that one member should not be singled out in this matter.  Beyond this, they supported the Speaker in suspending memberships of offending MNAs Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan said according to the rules, the members can criticize or raise objections but cannot resort to language ridiculing or humiliating anybody.  He said rules also need to be framed to curb fake news.

Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri, during the debate on budget 2020-21, also switched off the mic of opposition member Waheed Alam for using harsh words against the Prime Minister.

Govt criticised

Earlier, the members from opposition strongly criticised the government for not raising salaries and pensions. They were of the view that the government has mishandled both the matter of COVID-19 and locusts attack in the country.

The matter regarding online education due to the coronavirus also came under discussion. The opposition members said that the educational institutes should reduce school fee and arrangements for online classes should be ensured in all parts of country.  The opposition members also targeted minister Zartaj Gul on her recent statement about COVID-19 in their speeches. The opposition members also raised matter regarding the absence of ministers in the house during the debate. 

PPP-P’s Shagufta Jumani said the PTI government has failed to fulfil the promises made with the poor and middle class in the general elections.

Another PPP-P’s MNA Shazia Marri said the government should set realistic targets for the next fiscal year. She said seriousness should be shown to deal with locusts.