The opposition lawmakers in both houses of parliament on Wednesday vociferously protested against federal minister Ali Amin Gandapur calling PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto a “traitor” and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif a “robber” a day earlier in his speech in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
The lawmakers belonging to the PPP and the PML-N staged separate symbolic walkouts from the National Assembly against the federal Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan minister’s use of language against their respective leaderships.
PPP’s Naveed Qamar said there were many personalities including Quaid-e-Azam, Allama Iqbal and Bhutto, whose services could not be denied.
“Speaking against these personalities disrespects the country and our history,” he added.
PML-N’s Murtaza Javed Abbasi said his party would respond in the same manner if derogatory terms were used for their leadership.
PTI MNA Raja Riaz, formerly associated with the PPP, also condemned Gandapur’s remarks against Bhutto.
However, when the two parties staged token walkouts, lawmakers belonging to the JUI-F and the Jamaat-e-Islami remained seated in the House.
PPP MNA Yousuf Talpur pointed out the lack of quorum on which NA Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri suspended the proceedings until the quorum was reached.
However, the deputy speaker adjourned the proceedings till Friday (tomorrow) when the treasury benches were unable to meet the quorum.
Similarly in Senate, opposition lawmakers shouted anti-government slogans in front of Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani’s dais.
The chairman then told them to settle down and warned that he would not tolerate anyone approaching his dais in future.
Senator Moula Bux Chandio of the PPP said a member of the government had used a derogatory term against his party’s founder.
Sherry Rehman, also of the PPP, said a minister, who was booked on charges of polluting the environment, was handing out “certificates of treason”.
“This is unacceptable. The one [Bhutto], who gave the country its nuclear programme, is being called a traitor,” she added.
PPP’s Raza Rabbani said the person, who had gathered the heads of all Muslim countries in Lahore and called the Pakistani military the “army of Islam”, was being termed a traitor.
“If this continues then no one will be safe here. They [current rulers] will leave the country just like their finance minister did,” he added.
The lawmakers continued to protest during the speech of the Leader of the House Dr Shahzad Waseem.
“Look at the attitude of these people in the House. I will not be able to stop my members [if the opposition lawmakers did not stop],” Waseem said.
He demanded that the opposition lawmakers should apologise for the language used by their leaders in speeches during their AJK election campaigns.
The Senate chairman warned opposition members that he would adjourn the proceedings if there was no order in the House
“All members return to your seats and protest from there,” he added.
Senator Asif Kirmani said the speeches of two ministers in the AJK election campaign were shameful.
“After the economy, they have also destroyed morality. The statement made by ministers against the two former premiers is unacceptable,” he added.
“The credit for Pakistan’s nuclear programme goes to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif turned the country into a nuclear power.”