ISLAMABAD - Syed Khurshid Shah, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly, on Thursday unexpectedly turned against the ruling government that he had been vehemently supporting against the pressure mounted by Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri.

The house that met for the first time after the brutal attack on an army-run school in Peshawar, was expected to be demonstrating unity against terrorism seemed poles apart after Khurshid Shah led boycott of his party from the lower house joined by MQM on the imposition of five percent increase in general sales tax (GST) on petroleum products by government.

Speaker Ayaz Sadiq suspended the question hour session in order to debate the terror attack in Peshawar allowing the Opposition Leader to kick off the debate. But Mr Shah surprisingly lambasted the government for increasing GST on petroleum products.

Shah did not utter a word on the gruesome terror attack in Peshawar and instead was more worried and angry over the increase in GST on petroleum products demanding immediate withdrawal of the decision staging walkout from the house.

But background discussion with PPP and PML-N lawmakers revealed that Mr Shah was actually more frustrated over the establishment of military courts although his party had earlier agreed to.

The opposition leader complained that members of the ruling party wore an innocent look when PTI and PAT had pitched their tents outside the Parliament House during the sit-ins against government regretting the ministers disappear from the house when the threat is over.

Shah pointed out that there were only 25 PML-N MNAs in the house on Thursday despite the fact that the house met for the first time since the Peshawar tragedy.

“Where is our prime minister today? Where is interior minister and of course our finance minister? I had raised my voice for the supremacy of parliament against Imran Khan. Now I will turn against the government,” Mr Shah told the house.

Visibly perturbed over the thin presence of PML-N lawmakers in the house, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq directed Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Iqbal to call the parliamentarians on their cell numbers in order to ensure their presence.

But even then the number of members in the house did not increase and rather further decreased after Khurshid Shah boycotted the session arguing it was fruitless to talk to walls.

After Shah and his party members disappeared, Minister for Defense Production Rana Tanveer criticized the opposition leader for using inappropriate words for cabinet members adding the house used to be presenting a deserted look during the regime of PPP. Sources close to Leader of Opposition said that Mr Shah would give more tough time to the government today in reaction to the speech of Rana Tanveer.

Meanwhile, MQM lawmaker Abdul Rashid Godil blamed Chief Minister KP Pervez Khattak for failing to provide security to the Army Public School despite receiving intelligence report about the threat to schools.

He said that after the 18th Amendment, it was the responsibility of provincial governments to take security measures for protecting the residents of respective provinces.