Lawmakers come close to exchanging blows over PM’s criticism

ISLAMABADThe government and opposition lawmakers came close to a fist fight after an exchange of hot words during a session of the National Assembly on Monday.The pandemonium started when Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Shazia Marri mentioned General AK Niazi and drew his parallel with ‘Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi’.The remarks led to Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Mohammed Khan raising an objection, addressing which the speaker, Asad Qaiser, ruled that a tribe should not be targeted while criticising a particular person.

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In the meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Abdul Majeed Niazi got infuriated and started criticising the opposition in a louder tone.The opposition benches responded in the same manner, causing uproar in the assembly.At one stage, the speaker even had to instruct the security men to expel two members from the assembly hall.The house also reverberated with clamourous calls during the speeches of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Ahsan Iqbal and Rana Sanaullah.

Later, the speaker adjourned the session till 11am on Tuesday.

Earlier, Minister for Religious Affairs Dr Noorul Haq Qadri informed the National Assembly about the agreement inked between the government and the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, stressing the need for devising a comprehensive strategy to avoid roads blockades during any protest in future.Speaking on the floor of the house, the minister said the government engaged the TLP leadership to find out a workable solution to the issue through peaceful means and avoid any bloodshed.

“There were two ways to deal with the protesters – through use of force and through talks. The government opted for talks and resolved the issue in line with an understanding reached between the government and the opposition during a meeting,” he said.The minister also informed the house about the points agreed between the government and the TLP leadership to end the sit-ins. He said that solution to the issue had been worked out in three days after holding marathon meetings with the TLP leadership.He said the speech made by Prime Minister Imran Khan was in line with the policy of the state and the policy would continue during the next five years.Qadri said the government was committed to upholding all the laws related to the dignity of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). He said every Muslim in the country is a true follower of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and could sacrifice his life for the sanctity of Islam.The minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan is a true lover of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as he twice visited Saudi Arabia and landed at airport barefooted.Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi asked the prime minister and the state minister for interior to brief the house about the agreement reached between the government and the TLP. He said it was unfortunate that the sit-in disturbed routine life of the citizens and caused them great inconvenience.Abbasi also denounced the language used against the state institutions by the protesters.

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