ISLAMABAD: PML-N senior vice president and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday unleashed a volley of criticism at National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser for not issuing the production order for his incarcerated fellow party MNA Rana Sanaullah in an emotionally charged speech delivered on the floor of the House before staging a walkout.
“I won’t beg for a production order. I am here [in the National Assembly] on the court’s direction, not because of you,” the senior PML-N leader told the speaker.
“It’s my right to come to the assembly but what can be done when the speaker creates hurdles [for lawmakers],” he added.
The speaker told Abbasi that he was attending the session because of the production order he had issued for him.
“I issued the production order on your application,” he told the PML-N leader.
The former premier maintained that he had written three letters to the speaker for the issuance of the production orders of all incarcerated members of the House.
“You wrote back that you will decide as whether I could attend the session or not. I’m a member of this House just like you Mr Speaker. I will place your reply in the assembly library for record in which you told me that only you had the authority to issue production orders,” he said.
Abbasi demanded the issuance of Sanaullah’s production order. “I have seen the likes of Fakhar Imam, Mairaj Khalid and Yousuf Raza Gilani in the chair [of the speaker]. They never compromised on principles,” he added.
“We won’t come to the assembly if somebody is pressuring you to not issue the production orders.”
Abbasi pointed out that the production order issued by the speaker mentioned that he should be brought to the assembly on December 4.
“But I have been brought here today. Will you take notice of the non-implementation of your directives?” he asked.
Abbasi further asked the speaker if he had read the court verdict against Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri according to which the people of a constituency could not be deprived of their right to representation in parliament.
“Issue Rana Sanaullah’s production order,” he told the speaker before walking out of the assembly.
The treasury members, however, backed the speaker accusing the opposition of resorting to double standards.
Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar maintained that the speaker was running the house in accordance with the rules.
“The government will support you whenever you need it,” he told the speaker.
PML-N’s Khawaja Saad Rafique also complained about the non-implementation of the production orders.
“You are aware too that your directions have not been followed,” he told the speaker. “It is Rana Sanaullah’s right to be here [in the National Assembly.”
Rafique said there were members belonging to the ruling party as well including Pervez Khattak and Amir Dogar who had supported the issuance of production orders.
“We are aware of those who are creating these hurdles but naming them would create more tensions,” he added.
The PML-N leader pointed out that the despite his party’s differences with the PML-Q, Punjab Assembly Speaker Pervaiz Elahi who belonged to that party had never refused to issue the production orders of incarcerated MPAs.
Rafique warned the treasury members that they could be facing a similar situation in the future what the opposition was putting up with now.
During the proceedings of the House, PML-N MNA Kesoo Mal introduced a private member’s bill seeking an end to the ban on student unions.
The bill was opposed by some treasury members and ministers who noted that the government had already formed a committee on the matter and the prime minister also wanted to restore student unions.
However, most of the ministers and lawmakers from both sides backed the bill and it was referred to the parliamentary committee on education for deliberation.