ISLAMABAD - Leader of Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed on Monday refused to open debate on the federal budget  for not being telecast (his speech) live on PTV.

“I need the same pitch, as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s speech was telecast live on PTV,” said Shah while referring to the live coverage of his speech on PTV in 2016.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyam Aurangzeb argued that there was no tradition in the past to air live telecast the speech of opposition leader.

PTI’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi backed the opposition leader, saying: “If there was no tradition, let’s start a new tradition.”

Marriyam said: “We (government) will make a package to run on TV in a news bulletin but right now it will be difficult.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Law Minister Zahid Hamid also supported their party colleague, saying there was no tradition to telecast the speech of the opposition leader live on PTV.

“Why should I sit here when I have not been provided with the (same) right (like the finance minister),” said Shah and left the house with all opposition parties.

The government side also made a failed attempt to persuade the opposition members.

The chair, against the tradition, gave floor to a member of treasury benches to formally open the debate on the finance bill.

NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq was not giving floor to the lawmakers to speak on point of orders, but after the walkout from the opposition, Daniyal Aziz succeeded to grab the floor.

The house also witnessed remarks against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and PTI chief Imran Khan from the MNAs of rival parties.

Daniyal, on point of order, said that PTI chief Imran Khan should first get bail on offences against 7-ATA (Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act).

“Under the 7-ATA, Imran Khan is a proclaimed offender and Islamabad police need to take action on it,” said Daniyal, inviting criticism from PTI MNA Murad Saeed.

Murad said: “This government has failed to provide relief to masses. Power outages, law and order situation and other issues are still not in control of the government,” said Murad Saeed. The PTI member was alone in the house shouting anti-PM slogans “Go Nawaz Go”, and later left the house and rejoined his opposition members.

Lawmakers Shaza Fatima and Mehmood Bashir Virk lauded the government for presenting the pro-people budget.

The lawmakers including ministers were least interested in listening to the debate on the budget.

Ministers including Sheikh Aftab, Khurram Dastagir, Rana Tanvir, Qadir Baloch, Zahid Hamid and Rana Tanvir were seen engaged in some personal discussions in when the MNAs were delivering speeches.

The house also offered Fateha for the 12 innocent youths killed by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir. State Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Aminul Hasnat led the Fateha.