NA witnessed scenes of chaos

Islamabad: The National Assembly witnessed scenes of chaos on Monday as opposition members surrounded the speaker’s dais, chanting slogans against the government, when Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri gave the floor to Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid instead of PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
According to detail, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari arrived in the assembly after the arrest of Asif Ali Zardari, after which the opposition demanded that he be allowed to speak first. A visibly annoyed Suri continued to tell the protesting members to return to their seats and warned that he will not succumb to any pressure.
During the session, opposition members insisted the NA Speaker to allow Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to speak. However, the Speaker responded that Bilawal will be given the chance to speak after Sheikh Rashid’s speech. Ruckus ensued as the angry opposition members went in front of speaker’s dais to lodge their protest.
Railways Minister Shiekh Rashid asserted that if he is not allowed to speak, he won’t let anyone else speak in the house. Sensing the rising friction, the deputy speaker called for the adjournment till 5PM today Tuesday.
Bilawal in his reaction on the development said that it’s the second time that the MNAs from Jhelum and Rawalpindi were preferred over an MNA from Larkana. “My voice has been censored again. Two federal ministers were preferred over me,” he said.
Earlier, former president and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari surrendered himself to a team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur’s pre-arrest bail plea in the money laundering case.
Suri assured the protesting MNAs that Bilawal will be allowed to speak after Sheikh Rashid’s speech. The deputy speaker said that he had given the floor to the railways minister because the latter wanted to respond to Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif, who had named Rashid in his speech earlier. “Do you want me to adjourn the sitting like I did last time?” asked Suri. He then addressed Bilawal directly, assuring the PPP chairperson that he would be allowed to speak for as long as he wished if the protesting members returned to their seats.
PPP MNA Shazia Marri accused the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of “harassing PPP co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari” after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) denied the former president’s bail plea in a fake accounts case.
During today’s National Assembly sitting, Marri asked Speaker Asad Qaiser when he would issue Zardari’s production orders. “He Zardari is a member of this House and a former president,” she told Qaiser. “The members look towards the speaker for the protection of the rights of MNAs as he Qaiser is the custodian of the house.”
She asked the speaker to ensure the presence of Zardari in the Assembly and issue his production orders. “NAB is harassing Asif Ali Zardari,” a visibly charged Marri declared. “In this situation, how will you protect him, when will you issue his production orders?”. She claimed that opposition members were being facing discrimination and pointed out that members of government were also nominated in NAB cases.

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