'Headphone lao': Tarar comes to Asif's 'rescue' amid opposition's sloganeering

Law minister asks defence minister to put on headphones to avoid disturbance caused by opposition members

Web Desk
June 23, 2024
Federal Minister for Law Azam Nazeer Tarar speaks to Defence Minister Khawaja Asif during National Assembly session on June 23, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/GeoNews

As the National Assembly on Sunday saw a ruckus-marred session on federal budget 2024-25, Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar came to Defence Minister Khawaja Asif's rescue amid sloganeering by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) members.

The lower house session went off track to exchange views over a new military operation to root out militancy, saw turbulence ensued from the opposition benches.

While Asif spoke on the assembly's floor, the opposition MNAs loudly chanted slogans such as "End the operation", and "We want peace" against the newly-approved 'Azm-e-Istehkam' operation aimed at eliminating terrorism from the country, causing disturbance during the minister's speech.

Asif said that the opposition was "standing with the terrorists", not the country as the PTI vehemently opposed the operation.

The defence minister said he was speaking about the country's security, but the PTI's only goal was to protest and not to hear him out. "They are neither with the country nor with the Constitution."

During all the commotion, Tarar stood up and told Asif to put on the headphones to avoid disturbance as the latter was unable to speak due to to noise.

A video of the moment was captured on national TV where the law minister was heard telling Asif in Punjabi: "Headphone lao bhaijaan.. Allah di kasmay.. mic na kadeya... (Put on the headphones brother.. I swear to God... don't take off the mic)."

Ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) rival PTI staged a walkout from the NA session for an hour and returned later.

The lawmakers from the opposition said that they weren't taken into confidence over the operation, while the government assured them that their concerns would be addressed.

The Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led government had Saturday announced the fresh counter-terrorism operation, pledging to utilise the full strength of the country's resources, including military, diplomatic, and legislative, to root out the militancy.

The Central Apex Committee on National Action Plan (NAP) gave the approval for the operation, in which top officials of all provinces were present, including PTI-backed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur.

The move comes as the country has witnessed a significant surge in terrorist attacks in recent months resulting in scores of both civilian and security forces' casualties.