ISLAMABAD   -   The joint opposition in Thursday’s National Assembly session staged strong protest over non-issuance of production orders for six jailed MNAs including PPP-P Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Rana Sanaullah.

The lawmakers from opposition, mainly female members, holding placards inscribed with ‘Issue Production Order’ gathered near the seat of opposition leader.

They also raised slogans demanding the chair to allow members in jail to represent their constituencies in the house.

These members, after some assurances from treasury benches over issuance of production orders, calmed down and went back to their seats.

“It is quite strange that six members of the house, perhaps for the first time, are not allowed to join the house proceedings,” said PPP-P’s senior MNA Naveed Qamar, on a point of order.

“It seems all the opposition will be behind bars...As the notices are being served,” he said, adding that chair should not succumb to any pressure. Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri promptly responded that the chair was not in any pressure and following the rules and regulations.

“The chair will not succumb to pressure exerted by the opposition...Please read rule-108, when the speaker will feel it necessary issue production order of the member,” he said, maintaining that all matters would be settled according to rules and regulations. “We are sitting here to defend democratic law...No one can pressurise the speaker,” he said.

Earlier, Naveed Qamar came down hard on PTI’s government for increasing the petroleum prices. “Excuse of increasing prices due to increase in prices of petroleum internationally is wrong,” he said. 

MNA from PTI Muhammad Alamgir Khan, on point of order, blamed PPP-P’s government in Sindh for misbehaving with him only for staging protest against sorry state of affairs in Karachi after heavy rains. “I was kept in jail twice without informing speaker National Assembly, which is against the norms and law,” he said.

The house also witnessed rumpus when Minister for Power and Petroleum Umar Ayub came down hard on Sindh government for their mismanagement in providing electricity to consumers after the rains. He also blamed Sindh government for indulging in corruption in different areas.

The PPP-P lawmakers stood on their seats demanding the floor to respond to the minister. PPP-P’s Naveed Qamar asked the PTI government to show their performance before asking about performance of PPP-P government.

The house was suspended abruptly as not more than 20 lawmakers were sitting in the house and MNA from opposition Ghani Talpur pointed out lack of quorum. The chair adjourned the house till Friday morning.

Earlier, the government lawmakers introduced bills including ‘The Islamabad Capital Territory Food Safety Bill, 2019’, ‘The Hydrocarbon Development Institute of Pakistan’, ‘The National Institute of Oceanography (amendment) Bill, 2019’, ‘The Export Processing Zones Authority Bill 2019’, ‘The Small Business Finance Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2019’, ‘The Cigarettes (Printing of Warning) Bill, 2019,” and ‘The Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources Bill 2019’.