The National Assembly on Thursday witnessed a tense atmosphere after a heated argument between Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali and independent MNA Jamshed Dasti almost turned into a physical fight, as both the MPs debated the brutal murder of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers in Lahore.
Discussion over the Lahore incident was triggered by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) members, who were then joined by Dasti. Replying to the remarks made by them, the minister for water and power lost his temper and other members had to intervene in order to calm down the situation.
Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah while speaking on the Lahore incident said, “the PML-N government keeps on repeating the mistakes it had committed in the past. However, for the sake of democracy we would not allow anyone to derail the system.”
Talking about ongoing military operation, he said that latest measures taken by the prime minister to fight against terrorism were bold but the aides of government are bent upon messing up with them by fanning chaos through Lahore-like incidents.
PTI’s Deputy Parliamentary Leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the entire country has been set ablaze, but some people in the government are trying to make things even worst for them. He demanded that cases against PAT members should be immediately withdrawn and said that one-sided report of judicial commission would not be acceptable at all.
Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai demanded constitution of Supreme Court’s Commission to probe the tragic incident and urged that those responsible must be brought to justice.
Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanvir Hussain assured the House that the judicial inquiry report of Lahore killings would be shared with the assembly and the culprits would be awarded exemplary punishment.
MQM leader Rashid Godial informed the House that MNA Tahira Asif had written four times that she should be granted security but to no avail.
Meanwhile, a motion has been approved to constitute a special parliamentary committee for electoral reforms and NA speaker has been given authority to constitute this committee.
The committee will give its recommendations for constitutional amendments and the use of modern technology in the upcoming electoral reforms. NA speaker has sought names from all parties for making this committee.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2014.