For understandable reasons, the PML-N tries to enforce a National Assembly session on the PTI-led government, primarily to provide some relief to its leader. Shehbaz Sharif is spending time in a NAB dungeon these days, but his status of being a member of an elected house provides him the right to attend its sessions. That helps bringing him to Islamabad to breathe, move and speak in relatively open spaces.

The corruption-hating base of the PTI and their unforgiving leader, Imran Khan, do not feel comfortable with this right granted to all members of parliament. Due to parliamentary rules and traditions, however, they can’t stop the PML-N leader’s coming to the house. The sole option left to them in the given conditions was to turn the session fixed for Friday into a single-sitting affair. And they were able to get what they had desired without much ado.

During the initial hours of this session three pertinent issues had surfaced. They surely deserved follow up discussion, if someone really cared furnishing “supremacy” to parliament in this country. Cutting across the party divide members of an August-pretending house did not appear motivated, though.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmud Qureshi acted too wise by volunteering a detailed statement on the attempt to create a hostage situation by taking over the Chinese Consulate in Karachi Friday morning.

With a swift and admirably professional response, the Sindh Police was able to prevent the possible building of an ominous situation. With a large heart, Shehbaz Sharif shared the assuaging confidence that the foreign minister felt about the law enforcing outfits.

In passing, however, he could not stop himself from reminding the PTI government that some of its ministers did try to question the validity of CPEC-related projects. That triggered an utterly irrelevant and ugly game to point scores. And we were back to a nauseating travelling down the memory lane.

Syed Naveed Qamar of the PPP sounded like the only sane voice or adult in the room. He was totally justified to wonder as to why a banned outfit associated with Baloch separatism took no time to own the attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi. But the government and the rest of opposition members were simply not interested to ponder over the question put by him.

The Friday attack on the Chinese Consulate in Karachi visibly looked like a “Fedayeen operation.” It does not fit into the extremist themes and patterns considered specific to Baloch separatists. The three terrorists killed in the said operation certainly looked trained, motivated and used by an entirely different set of forces bent upon creating chaos in Pakistan and subverting timely completion of CPEC-related projects.

One can only hope that our law enforcing and security agencies are finally able to tell us a solid and convincing story after diligent consideration of all possible aspects. The Friday attack must not be dumped and forgotten by merely describing it as another nefarious attempt by usual suspects from forces, elements and countries considered hostile to Pakistan.

Before Shah Mehmud Qureshi, Khawaja Saad Rafique of the PML-N also made a frightening claim while speaking through a point of order. The NAB, no doubt, wants to get him booked for charges related to a housing scheme in Lahore. His claim against the NAB has to be taken with a pinch of salt, therefore.

There, however, was no harm if Farogh Nasim, the law minister, had sounded as if firmly denying the allegation that the NAB was employing a dangerous set of chemical stuff to break people under its custody.

Saad Rafique was too adamant in vending the said story. He insisted that timely medical examination of certain people, currently interrogated by NAB Lahore, could clearly establish that peculiar drugs were force-fed to them. After breaking the will of captives, these drugs presumably lead them to a situation where they are willing to affirm, stories that the NAB wants to weave against persons, like Saad Rafique, potentially as ‘approver.’

Syed Naveed Qamar again proved the one and only who took the said allegation seriously. The PML-N crowd failed to push it aggressively. That facilitated the law minister to get away, simply by referring to this or that law which provided some kind of immunity to the doings of NAB.

Finance minister also tried to act smart by volunteering a statement, in the name of “taking this august house in confidence,” regarding negotiations the PTI government was holding with IMF for seeking substantive financial assistance from it.

His was an obviously a very tricky speech. It essentially displayed tough posturing by suggesting that Pakistan had averted a possible crisis to its foreign exchange reserves with timely help from friends like Saudi Arabia and China.

Asad Umer failed to hide the reality, however, that IMF was firmly prescribing some fiscal measures that the PTI government could not take due to compulsions elected governments of politicians have to endure in countries like Pakistan.

After implicit admission of a sour prescription, Asad Umer tried to assuage by cunningly announcing that Pakistan was not so desperate to get a package, which many economists dub as bailing out package, from the IMF in haste.

His speech certainly deserved a detailed discussion. But the PTI government’s one and only priority was to send Shehbaz Sharif back to the NAB dungeon after holding a National Assembly for a day only.