ISLAMABAD: PML-N leader Nehal Hashmi’s anti-judiciary tirade reverberated in the National Assembly on Friday as opposition lawmakers in the National Assembly boycotted the budget session for the fourth day running.
The government’s refusal to telecast live the speech of opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah on the state-run television remained unresolved and the opposition continued to hold informal budget session outside parliament as a token of their protest.
In the absence of the opposition’s input on the finance bill, the house lacked the traditional furore that marked previous budget debates and left the treasury benches with hardly any interest in house proceedings.
Nehal’s diatribe: Opposition outraged at ‘threats to judiciary’
The opposition has been boycotting the budget session since May 29 when the debate was initiated in the assembly.
The entire opposition staged a walkout from the house after the opposition leader raised a point of order on the floor of the house.
The sitting of the National Assembly started around 50 minutes behind schedule with Speaker Ayaz Sadiq in the chair.
Raising a point of order, the opposition leader said: “The budget is not people friendly and no relief has been given to different segments of society.”
Opposition stages mock session outside parliament
Shah said apart from the rulers every citizen of the country was concerned over the country’s state of affairs. “The army has been fighting a war on the borders while Iran is also threatening us.”
“Under such circumstances there should be no clash between state institutions,” the opposition leader underlined.
Referring to the fiery speech made by PML-N leader Nehal Hashmi, Shah said judges were being threatened.
“What sort of language is being used against the institutions? Thank God, it’s not the PPP government, otherwise we would have been publicly hanged,” Shah stated.
Top court summons Nehal Hashmi over threatening speech
The opposition leader again stressed that the speeches of all parliamentary leaders should be broadcast live “as it will strengthen democracy”.
After the speech of the opposition leader, the entire opposition staged a walkout from the house.
From the government side, Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif took the floor and said: “The PML-N believes in the supremacy of state institutions and it sacrificed a lot for the supremacy of judiciary.”
He said it was basically the PML-N that struggled for an independent judiciary and strengthened it in the country.
Opposition threatens mock NA session
“The statement of Nehal Hashmi is condemnable and the party has taken appropriate action against him,” the minister said, adding, “His party membership has been cancelled and he has resigned from the Senate.”
Asif said they [the PML-N] should not be sermonised over how to respect state institutions. “Despite having the privilege of immunity, the prime minister has offered accountability of his three generations.”
“They (the PPPP representatives) are cashing in on the goodwill of the sacrifices of their leaders but not arresting the murderers of Benazir Bhutto. All of them know well who the murderers are.”
“Shah Sahib ‘rangbazi (gimmickry) would not be allowed,” Asif stated.
Budget debate: Opposition walkout mars NA session
However, the speaker asked Asif to avoid using the word ‘rangbazi’ and said that he was expunging the word from the proceedings.
To which Asif replied: “What is wrong with ‘rangbazi’?”
“I need to consult the dictionary for a precise definition,” the speaker responded.
Taking part in the debate on the budget, PML-N lawmaker Shaista Malik congratulated the government for presenting a ‘people friendly’ budget. She proposed that more funds should be allocated for the education sector.
The proceedings of the house were adjourned till Monday.
Courtesy: Express Tribune