LAHORE -  Thursday’s Assembly sitting saw a Provincial Minister leaving the house in a huff. Apparently, he was angry with a women lawmaker of the PML-N for her being inquisitive in the question hour.

While it is a normal practice in the Assembly for the Opposition and the legislators in general to stage a walkout; it is quite unusual for a sitting Minister doing the same as a mean to protest.

Punjab Minister for Housing and Urban development Syed Haroon Sultan Bokhari who ,otherwise, comes of a respected Syed family of Muzaffargarh, has a history of pestering the women lawmakers who have grown weary of his professed bantering style. But perhaps he considers himself a witty banter unmindful of what the others would think about him.

On Thursday, the Minister protested on the Assembly floor when Nighat Nasir Sheikh of the ruling party disagreed with him that the traffic mess at Garhi Shahu Bridge was due to the construction work of the Orange line. She insisted the Minister was lying because the traffic jams at this place were not a new phenomenon.

Haroon Sultan stated that he had reasons not to answer the question because he had been treated unfairly in the media because of this lady.

He moaned that previously he had been unjustly maligned for allegedly being rude to her which was not the case. He told the chair he had a lot of respect for the ladies but unfortunately he was being widely misunderstood.

Though it was the last question on the list, but the Speaker had not yet announced conclusion of the question hour.

The Minister left his seat in protest and walked towards the exit in a visibly angry mood. The Speaker, however, called him back when he was about to disappear in the lobby.        

During the previous session, the Minister had annoyed the same lady when she insisted on having a correct answer to her question. He had then invited her to visit his chamber for a ‘satisfactory answer’. This phrase has an offensive connotation especially when you are stating this to a gentle lady. At that time, the women legislators had picked him up on his impolite behaviour in the House. Eventually, he had to apologise for his bad behaviour.

But Bokhari is not alone in this maddening practice of harassing the opposite gender inside the House.

Other ministers in the past have also been nasty with their female colleagues. More often than not, they would invite them to their chambers after they would be left answerless to their probing questions.

Haroon Sultan is in the Assembly for the third consecutive term but he still lacks the mannerism befitting of a person of the stature of a Minister.

Previously, the Minister for Industries Sheikh Alauddin would also indulge in such indecency but he would never be apologetic.