Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Leader Agha Rafiullah Awan and Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri butted heads during the Nation Assembly (NA) session on Wednesday, leading to the expulsion of the former from the assembly hall.
The opposition had been protesting against the deputy speaker, who had also been chairing the session, alleging that Suri had been unwilling to share the mic. During this, PPP’s Awan started crosstalk in the hall about the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s (PDM) recent rallies.
According to the reports, Awan had been told repeatedly to stop interrupting the proceedings, but this resulted in a direct clash with the deputy speaker. Furthermore, after Awan began reportedly “getting personal”, he was asked to temporarily leave the session.
Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf apologized on Awan’s behalf and sought a reversal of the ruling, but Suri refused to let someone who was impeding the NA go unpunished. In support, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Ali Muhammad read from the rules and pointed out that Awan himself should apologise for not following the chair’s directives.
Awan, along with a few other opposition leaders, left the assembly hall and returned after a few minutes.
During the absence of various opposition leaders, PTI’s Murad Saeed moved for a resolution to condemn the PDM rally in Quetta.
Murad said, “You are speaking to the tunes of [Indian premier] Modi and [Indian National Security Advisor] Ajit Doval.” He further said that the opposition parties would not be given an NRO, and ripped off the agenda papers, for which he was reprimanded.
Upon the return of the expelled leaders, the former premier rued the repetitive narrative presented by the PTI.
“We are tired of hearing the same things again and again,” he said, adding that it was hypocritical of the PTI to illegalise the jalsa when the party itself rose to prominence thanks to their dharnas.
“The country does not belong to only you or me, it belongs to the masses,” he said, warning PTI members against politicising the issue.