Soon after the Senate proceedings began on Friday – after an hour’s delay – the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) members staged a walkout from the session after Senator Tahir Mashhadi, a senior member of the party, was not allowed to complete his speech on national budgetary recommendations.
Even a day earlier, his speech was left incomplete due to a spat between the chair and treasury members.
The MQM lawmakers strongly protested in the house when Mashhadi was not allowed to complete his speech – again. However, the acting chairman of the Senate, Sabir Baloch, gave the floor to Senator M Hamza, of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, saying the MQM lawmaker would be allowed to complete his speech later. Subsequently, the MQM refused to take part in the day’s proceedings and walked out.
Later in the session, Awami National Party (ANP) Senator Afrasiab Khattak Friday alleged that the establishment was involved in pushing forward ‘test-tube politicians’ in Pakistan to do as they please.
Defending the ideologies and principles of the late Nawab Khair Bakhsh Marri and all other disgruntled Baloch leaders, he said, “It has been made a common practice by the establishment in Pakistan that it gives birth to test-tube politicians as per its requirements.”
ANP Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash presented a privilege motion against the Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman. The motion stated that the chairman does not attend meetings of the Senate’s standing committees despite repeated summons.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2014.