ISLAMABAD    -  Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Monday that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to USA helped create better image of the country and it provided an opportunity to present country’s stance in a better manner.

“There has been a major shift in policy and thought of the US leadership [in the last 11 months] to seek political solution for establishment of peace in Afghanistan,” said Qureshi, addressing the National Assembly session.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had also been saying that peace in Afghanistan will require political settlement instead of opting for use of military force. “Same thought gave start to a convergence. The convergence of Pak-US views on resolution of Afghan conflict was not an easy task,” he said, responding to speech of Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif.

About the recent incident at Pak-Afghan border, he commented the martyrdom of Pakistani soldiers showed that armed forces had the capacity and will to spill their blood for defending the geographical and ideological frontiers of the country.

Prime Minister Khan, he said, in his meetings with US President, editors of US media and United Institute of Peace clearly told them about sacrifices made by Pakistan. Prime Minister conveyed sincerity of Pakistan to facilitate peace process in the neighbouring country. “Pakistan is facilitating the peace process and wants reconciliation to reach its logical conclusion,” he said mentioning that the meetings in Doha between Afghan government representatives and Taliban delegations had also made progress.

The minister further said that border management work was on right track and fencing was being done to stop the flow of terrorist elements.

The minister said Pakistan should proceed with the same unanimity as shown by the parliament in response to Indian aggression in recent past. “We are one nation with one objective. We desire peace and stability because our own peace and stability is linked to Afghanistan’s peace and stability,” he said.

Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif sought government’s point of view on recent ‘enemy attack’ at Afghanistan border and Balochistan. “Who are these enemies? What is the purpose behind these conspiracies,” opposition leader sought reply of government on his queries.

The terrorist attacks on armed forces in the wake of prime minister’s visit to the US should be investigated as to who was behind these, he remarked.

About production orders of arrested members, he said the chair should not take dictation from prime minister and give the due right to parliamentarians. “This is tradition of the house to issue production order. Such tradition helps creating the image of the house,” he said, mentioning that PML-N’s lawmaker Rana Sanaullah was kept in a solitary confinement without bed, mattress, chair etc.

“Rana Sana, who remained Punjab law minister for a decade, is forced to sleep on the floor. Has he not any right to have a bed and a mattress?” he questioned. About arrest of Irfan Siddiqui, a close aide to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, he criticised the government for mistreating Irfan Siddiqui. “Let’s move forward together, to avoid any eventuality,” he said, ostensibly cautioning the PTI’s government.

PPP-P’s senior leader Khursheed Shah, on his turn, said that the speaker should play its role for issuing production orders of arrested members. About prime minister’s statement to withdraw air-conditioner facility from Nawaz Sharif in jail, he said the prime minister was playing the role of jail superintendent.

Minister for Communication Murad Saeed came down hard on opposition members for not delivering in their tenure. About the opposition leader’s comments on Rana Sanaullah’s sentence, he said, the looters and plunderers should return money to the country. “It seems opposition leader was complaining that Rana Sanaullah was not given facilities existed in a five star hotel.

RUMUS AND VERBAL  BRAWL IN HOUSE

The house, at the fag end of proceedings, saw rumpus when the lawmakers from PTI and PPP-P exchanged heated remarks. The PTI MNAs from Karachi were interested in raising the issue relating to Sunday’s incident in the house. They were asking the chair to give them floor to speak about the incident but the chair gave the mic to PPP-P’s MNA Qadir Patel.

Some MNAs from PPP-P and PTI MNAs from Karachi, during the speech of MNA Qadir Patel, exchanged heated remarks. They were about to engage in fist fight when other party members stopped them to engage in physical brawl. PTI members Atta Ullah, Aslam Khan and PPP-P’s Zulfiqar Bachani were seen exchanging hot words and trying to engage in physical brawl. The chair, sensing the messy situation, immediately adjourned the proceedings of the house.