pakistan
Wednesday Jun 16 2021
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Joint Opposition to move no-confidence motion against NA Speaker Asad Qaiser

(L to R) Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, MNA Mohsin Dawar, and former prime minister and PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf meeting in Islamabad, on June 16, 2021. — Still from video shared by PPPs media cell.
(L to R) Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, MNA Mohsin Dawar, and former prime minister and PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf meeting in Islamabad, on June 16, 2021. — Still from video shared by PPP's media cell.

The Opposition has decided to jointly move a no-confidence motion against National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, sources said Wednesday, after two days of ruckus in the Lower House.

The development came during a meeting of Opposition party leaders in Islamabad, where they decided to form a committee that would draft a plan of action to move the no-confidence motion.

Yesterday's proceedings in the NA marked the "darkest day for democracy in Pakistan's history," the Opposition leaders observed, according to the sources.

"The Speaker has failed to fulfil his constitutional, legal, democratic, and parliamentary responsibilities [...] he is the protector of every parliament member, but [he has failed in his duties] and is not qualified to hold office anymore," they said.

The leaders demanded that a parliamentary committee be established with equal representation — from treasury and Opposition benches — to probe the ruckus that had transpired in parliament.

What happened in NA?

On Tuesday, the NA proceedings witnessed humiliating scenes when the ministers and parliamentarians were seen creating a ruckus, using filthy language, whistling, and attacking each other with budget books during the speech of the Opposition Leader in NA Shahbaz Sharif on the federal budget.

During the uproar, one of the members from the treasury benches threw a book towards Shahbaz, which fell on the dais in front of him. The members from two sides came close to a physical brawl in front of the NA Speaker’s chair, but he could do nothing except for making requests and suspending proceedings time and again.

The security staff of the NA made a protective circle around the Opposition leader and pushed back the government members, who were trying to move towards him.

Opposition members also encircled Shahbaz Sharif to prevent him from any attack.

In the meantime, one of the security staffers, Asif Kiani, was slightly injured when a book hit him close to his eye.

A video showing Ali Nawaz Awan of the PTI abusing an opponent also went viral on social media. However, the PTI member said it was Shaikh Rohail Asghar of the PMLN who used abusive language first.

7 lawmakers banned from NA for 'disorderly conduct'

Following the incident, the NA Speaker Qaiser imposed a ban on seven lawmakers, preventing them from entering the Parliament House until further notice.

The notice said these lawmakers' conduct was “grossly disorderly” during the speech of Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif.

Three members from the ruling PTI and four opposition members — three from PML-N and one from PPP — have been found to have “violated” the rules despite the “repeated direction” of the speaker.

“Therefore, I order for withdrawal of aforesaid Members from the precincts of the National Assembly immediately. These members are required not to enter into the precincts of the Parliament House till further orders,” the statement released by the Speaker stated.

The lawmakers who are barred from the assembly include Ali Gohar Khan (PML-N), Chaudhary Hamid Hameed (PML-N), Sheikh Rohale Asghar (PML-N) Faheem Khan (PTI), Abdul Majeed Khan (PTI), Ali Nawaz Awan (PTI), and Syed Agha Rafiullah (PPP).

The action was taken after a meeting of Asad Qaiser with Prime Minister Imran Khan during which the NA situation was discussed.