ISLAMABAD -  The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz used all their energies to ensure “reasonable attendance” during the joint session of the parliament, which was addressed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo but failed to stop the lawmakers before the visiting dignitary walked out.

As the Indonesian president completed his speech, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq announced to prorogue the session and also asked the lawmakers to wait as Widodo would come down to meet them.

The lawmakers thumped the desks and President Widodo walked with the speaker and Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani to shake hands with the parliamentarians.

After meeting with a few legislators, Widodo shook hands with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. By that time around half of the lawmakers had already left the hall.

The journalists in the press gallery were also moving out.

This was not the only unpleasant scene in the less than two hours of the joint session.

When President Widodo, together with Ayaz Sadiq and Mian Raza Rabbani, entered the house, almost all the lawmakers were standing disorderly and busy in gossiping. They only took their seats minutes later.

President Widodo was expected to start his address at 6pm but since the treasury members were busy pulling their colleagues to the hall, the proceedings were delayed for around 20 minutes.

Still vacant seats could be seen from a mile.

As the lawmakers tried to “kill” time, while waiting for President Widodo, former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan enjoyed a star attraction.

Lawmakers from the treasury and the opposition benches stood with the PML-N veteran, visibly in pleasant mood.

But soon as Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal entered, the lawmakers started to disperse.

Khan and Iqbal avoided eye-contact despite passing closely twice. All of a sudden it was announced that President Widodo was walking in. The sitting interior minister and the former interior minister rushed to their seats.

In the guest gallery, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa pulled several lawmakers who tried to shake hands or speak to him. Some crossed over to him and spent time discussing their issues.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Rashid Godil, Awami National Party’s Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl)’s Maulana Ameer Zaman were the prominent lawmakers who especially visited the guests’ gallery to meet General Bajwa.

Later, Maulana Zaman said he had discussed some development projects in Balochistan with the army chief.

President Widodo recounted the historic ties of his country with Pakistan since the time of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

He said relations between the two countries continue to grow.

Welcoming President Widodo, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said Pakistan and Indonesia cherished deep bonds of history, religion and culture, and the Indonesia had never left Pakistan alone in its crisis.

He said Dr Ahmed Sukarno, the first president of Indonesia, also addressed the National Assembly of Pakistan on June 26, 1963.

Among the backbenchers some female lawmakers from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz engaged in gossiping and sharing smiles, while President Widodo went through his speech.

At some point, the chair noticed them and sent a message.

The ladies looked up, adjusted their seats and started giving more attention to the Indonesian president.