The session of the National Assembly conducted today was rife with noise and sloganeering as the Opposition and government clashed on key issues. Similar chaos has erupted in yesterday’s session when the government had proposed the 26th constitutional amendment bill seeking open balloting in the Senate elections, and the opposition had not allowed further discussion.
Tensions mounted in today’s session as Federal Minister for Power Omar Ayub, in his speech, challenged the Opposition members to stand against him in election, causing them to react strongly. Members of the Oppisition proceeded to tear up their copies of the parliamentary agenda, and chant anti-government slogans such as “Go Imran Go.”
The ruckus resulted in members of the Government and Opposition engaging in shoving matches, with some parliamentarians even falling to the floor.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s Syed Naveed Qamar also grabbed the mic down from the deputy speaker’s dias to register his protest. The deputy speaker of parliament announced the postponement of the session after the chaos in the chamber escalated.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi admonished the oppostion for their behavior, saying they cannot demand to be heard if they refuse to listen to others. During his speech, which was interrupted by loud sloganeering and desk thumping by opposition members, he lambasted the opposition parties for “defiling the sanctity of the Parliament”. Condemning their behavior, he said that the government had so far exhibited patience towards the opposition, but warned that the government will not let them “bulldoze” the 26th constitutional amendment bill seeking open balloting in the Senate elections.