A meeting of parliamentary party leaders chaired by National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq over Thursday’s brawl and scuffle between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmakers in the lower house of the Parliament ended without taking any concrete decision for avoiding such incidents in future.
However, the parliamentary leaders regretted over Thursday’s incident in the National Assembly and discussed code of conduct and privilege motion against the prime minister. They set aside the matter to fix responsibility for the Thursday incident.
On Friday, when the NA session began, the speaker regretted over the Thursday incident and said that unparliamentarily and derogatory words were used from both the treasury and opposition benches, breaching the privilege of the house.
The speaker said, “The House cannot be run with such attitude of the members. I suspend the proceeding of the House for half an hour because I have called a meeting of the parliamentary leaders of the parties for consultation to formulate code of conduct to run the House.”
After 30 minutes, Chaudhry Mahmood Bashir Virk, one of the members of the Panel of Chairpersons, resumed the session and immediately announced to adjourn the house till Monday at 4pm without taking any agenda item. After the meeting of parliamentary leaders, National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq while addressing a news conference said that it was decided that opposition and treasury members would not hurl allegations against each other in the august house.
He said he has requested both the government and opposition members to improve the assembly’s atmosphere and avoid such embarrassing incidents in future. “What happened yesterday is regrettable. It was neither good for democracy nor for the sanctity of the Parliament,” the speaker said. “If we keep our focus on finding out who initiated the aggression on Thursday in the National Assembly, we would not have been able to move forward positively,” Sadiq said.
He said that both the parties are guilty of `aggression’, adding another meeting of the parliamentary leaders would be held on Monday at 3pm to discuss a plan of action to avoid such incidents in future and to take final decision to formulate code of conduct to run the house.
Answering a question, the speaker said that the issue of privilege motion against the PM was also discussed in the meeting. He said that the privilege motion has been sent back to National Assembly Secretariat to examine it and legal opinion on it might also be sought.
To another query, he said that he asked the members if they feel that his (speaker’s) role and conduct is not impartial then he is ready to tender resignation after consultation with the PM. However, the parliamentary leaders expressed their confidence in me, he added.
Replying to question about the suspension of the membership of Shehryar Afridi of PTI for not submitting statement of assets’ declaration, the speaker said that he is not aware of his suspension from Election Commission of Pakistan. “I have, so far, not received any notification in this regard from Election Commission of Pakistan, the speaker added.