PML-N leader calls expletives hurled in NA ‘a part of Punjab’s culture’

Rohail Asghar's remarks spread like wildfire on social media and received wide condemnation


News Desk June 16, 2021
SCREENGRAB

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Sheikh Rohail Asghar on Wednesday said that the use of abusive language is "just a part of Punjab's culture" when asked about the chaotic scenes in Tuesday's parliament session.

Asghar made the remarks while talking to the media outside the premises of the National Assembly. The footage spread like wildfire on social media and was received with almost universal condemnation on Twitter.

Journalist Mehr Tarar said that filthy slurs and abuse words may be prevalent in Punjab but that in no way can be interpreted as that filth being Punjabi culture.

"Just because you get away with certain filth in your personal life and with your friends and chamchas, that does not make it 'cultural' or acceptable," she added.

Criticising Asghar, Journalist Amber Shamsi said that it was an insult to Punjabi culture.

Read: Public disbelief as NA descends into rumpus

On Tuesday, lawmakers from both the government and the opposition used foul language and threw copies of this year's federal budget at each other during the speech by Leader of the Opposition Shehbaz Sharif.

The budget books were seen flying from both sides of the aisle, as the nation witnessed in disbelief the despicable scenes from the proceedings being streamed on TV channels and social media.

Videos circulating on social media showed PTI’s Ali Nawaz Awan using abusive language; Murad Saeed standing on the desk and throwing budget books at the opposition; Shireen Mazari and Ali Amin Gandapur along with other MNAs shouting Chor, Chor.

PTI’s Faheem Khan, Jamil Ahmed Khan, Saifur Rehman, Abdul Shakoor Shad were the others ruling party lawmakers on the frontline of the confrontation with the opposition. Opposition’s Sheikh Rohail Asghar, Murtaza Javed Abbasi, Chaudhary Khalid Javed were more active from their side.

Read more: Ruckus in Sindh Assembly over water scarcity

The situation reached the extent that Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser had to call sergeants at arms from the Senate. However, the throwing of budget books by both sides continued with the same frequency and the same force. Resultantly, PTI’s Malika Bokhari and a couple of sergeants at arms were injured.

Taking action over the incident, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser on Wednesday barred seven lawmakers, from both sides of the aisle, for creating a ruckus and behaviour deemed "unparliamentary".

Three parliamentarians were banned from each ruling PTI and PML-N while one from PPP.

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

Earlier in the day, the speaker met Prime Minister Imran Khan during which the country's political situation and the ruckus during yesterday’s session came under discussion. He added that the premier was informed about the incident, adding that those who had violated the sanctity of the House would be punished.

Apart from the violence that took place in the National Assembly yesterday, concern were expressed over the use of foul language.

Sources said that before the meeting between the prime minister and the speaker, an inquiry meeting was also held in the Parliament House under the chairmanship of Qaiser, in which the deputy speaker and the secretary of the National Assembly were present.

A committee headed by Qaiser completed the inquiry in which it was decided that members who used vulgar language on Tuesday would not be allowed to attend the session. Among those rioting at the session were government ministers and senior members.

The NA speaker further said that action would be taken against those violating the sanctity of the House without any discrimination.

 

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