Friday Apr 23 2021

NA session adjourned indefinitely as angry Opposition lawmakers confront deputy speaker

  • Opposition lawmakers protest after speaker doesn't allow Raja Pervez Ashraf and Ahsan Iqbal to speak
  • Opposition members surround speaker's dais, chant slogans during NA session
  • We wanted to ask the government under what law it banned the TLP, says Raja Pervez Ashraf

ISLAMABAD: A National Assembly session, convened to debate the resolution tabled for the sanctity of prophethood, was adjourned indefinitely without debate after Opposition lawmakers protested.

As the house met, the Opposition lawmakers requested Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri to allow them to speak on the point of order. Suri refused, saying that the question and answer session should be concluded first.

The deputy speaker was asked to let former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal speak during the session, which he did not allow. 

This caused Opposition lawmakers to become angry, who surrounded the speaker's dais and raising slogans of "Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah and Tajdar Khatam Nabuwat (PBUH)". Some of them were holding up placards as well.

As tensions in the lower house escalated, the deputy speaker adjourned the session for an indefinite period. 

'Under which law was the TLP banned'? 

Some PPP lawmakers had attended today's proceedings as well. The party's legislators had boycotted the April 20 session of the lower house. 

Later, speaking to media outside the National Assembly, Ashraf slammed Suri's move to adjourn the session, saying that Opposition lawmakers wanted to ask the government about the agreement that was signed with the banned Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and debate on the resolution presented in the assembly.

"Under which law was the TLP was banned and why was the previous agreement [between the government and the outfit] not implemented?" asked the former prime minister.

Ahsan Iqbal flays govt for making 'fake cases' against PML-N instead of fighting terrorism

On the other hand, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal also criticised the deputy speaker for not listening to Opposition members. "The government escaped by adjourning the house after we protested. We wanted to debate on the Khatm-e-Nabuwat (PBUH) resolution and the attack on Absar Alam."

He also lashed out at the PTI regime for curbs on media and freedom of expression, saying that these practices had been going on for a while.

The former federal minister also condemned the Quetta blast in which five people were killed, saying that the government had failed to protect the lives of the innocent. 

"Terrorism has been rearing its ugly head for the past few months now," he said. "However, this government's priority is not to deal with terrorism; rather, its priorities are making fake cases against the PML-N," added the former interior minister.

The PML-N stalwart demanded the government continue the National Assembly session instead of adjourning it.