Two PTI parliamentarians spat in National Assembly

Other lawmakers step in to stop them from exchanging blows


Our Correspondent June 22, 2021

ISLAMABAD:

Two MNAs of the ruling PTI on Tuesday engaged in a spat during the National Assembly proceedings, compelling other lawmakers to step in to stop them from exchanging blows.

The proceedings of the House were under way presided over by chairman of the panel Amjad Khan Niazi and PTI MNA Saifur

Rehman was delivering his speech when another member of the ruling party, Noor Alam Khan, was busy “chatting” with other lawmakers.

Saif asked Noor to remain quiet during his speech as he was disturbing him.

However, it did not go down well with Noor. Saif then warned Noor to wait until it was his turn to deliver his speech.

The chairman of the panel then gave the floor of the House to opposition member Agha Rafiullah.

Rafiullah pointed out that he could not deliver his speech with two lawmakers fighting and asked the House to be brought in order first.

After the microphone was turned off, Noor and Saif came face to face, both accompanied by lawmakers in their corners.

However, the members belonging to the ruling party and its allies intervened and stopped them.

Later, Noor and MNA Major (retd) Tahir Sadiq of the PTI lashed out at their own government, wondering how it would overcome the deficit of Rs3 trillion.

Sadiq demanded that unelected people in the cabinet should be sacked.

Separately, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in his speech said the opposition was raising hue and cry over rigging in the forthcoming polls as they knew Prime Minister Imran Khan would win another term in power.

"We want to bring electronic voting machines into the system to resolve the electoral issues," Fawad said on the floor of the House, calling on the opposition parties to reach a consensus on the electoral reforms proposed by the government.

"There's no leadership in the opposition; it is a disintegrated group," he remarked.

"From 1947 to 2008, Pakistan took loans worth Rs6 trillion from foreign sources," said the minister, adding that the country utilised the money for creating the fifth-largest army in the world, establishing Islamabad, motorways, naval bases and Gwadar port.

"But between the years 2008 and 2018, this amount [of loans] went up to Rs26 trillion."

Fawad maintained that Rs2 trillion was used to repay the loans taken during the tenure of the previous governments.

"They [previous governments] borrowed money to set up power plants, including a coal plant in Sahiwal, where coal has not been mined."

"Because of them, we have to pay off the IPPs [independent power producers] and give them Rs900 billion every year."

The information minister further said that in 2023, the government would have to pay Rs1.5 trillion to the IPPs and elaborated that as of now, the country has the capacity to produce 30,000 megawatts but could only distribute around 24,000 megawatts.

Turning his guns towards the provincial government of Sindh, the minister said: "Sindh was provided Rs1.6 to Rs1.7 trillion in a span of two years under the NFC [National Finance Commission]."

"[They were] given money separately under grants, but what did Sindh government do," he asked and claimed that the funds "went to London, Canada, the US, Paris and Dubai".

Continuing his criticism of the PML-N and the PPP, Fawad said there were two families—“one that sends money out of the country from Islamabad and the other from Sindh".

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