ISLAMABAD- The joint session of the Parliament called to discuss the prevailing political situation was completely overshadowed by personal acrimony between the PPP and the PML-N.

The rare unity of treasury and opposition benches against the PAT and the PTI in the joint House proved transient due to a feud between Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and Chaudhry Nisar. There was no discussion on other national issues such as miseries of the rain-affected people or cancellation of the Chinese president’s visit.

As PPP lawmaker Aitzaz traded barbs over the interior minister’s allegations that he was part of land mafia, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq abruptly adjourned the House, apparently, to avoid further chaos in the House.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a bid to defuse the tension, apologised to Aitzaz Ahsan, asking him to come to the issues. “We should move to our real agenda. Kindly leave this rift and come to the agenda as we are heading towards a bigger cause,” said the prime minister, taking the floor after Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah’s speech.

Interior Minister Ch Nisar Thursday accused Aitzaz of supporting land mafia and acquiring LPG quota without following the rules.

The premier said this matter could be resolved out of the parliament as it was not necessary to discuss it on the floor of the house. “It was sad for me when I heard about it. We will settle it, but we are here for a big cause to strengthen democracy,” he added.

“It was encouraging that the lawmakers, setting aside differences, spoke for democracy, rule of law and supremacy of the parliament. Now we should move in this direction,” he said, adding he had no lust for power. “The slot of PM is not a bed of roses,” he remarked.

Earlier, taking the floor, PPP Senator Aitzaz Ahsan challenged that he could disrupt the joint session as other opposition parties’ members would also support him.

“While the opposition will join me, if I boycott this session, all the opposition will leave with me except Achakzai,” he said, urging the PM to reshuffle his cabinet after the ongoing crisis.

The PPP senator also kept commenting on Ch Nisar’s angry gestures during his speech, who was sitting beside the prime minister. Nisar is still giving threats to me. He is even staring at the PM,” Aitzaz commented.

Ahsan said Nisar has levelled baseless allegations against him. “I had many opportunities to make billions of rupees, but I did not choose this way,” he said, adding he had always been under scrutiny by various accountability departments.

He further commented that treasury lawmakers had been much disturbed for the last 15 days.  “How long will you keep regretting?” he asked the PM and remarked Imran was influencing the people.

He said he had always supported democratic regimes and norms. He stated no one should be mistaken about the position of his party and that they would continue to support this democratic setup. “I am only giving clarification,” he said when he was twice interrupted by the treasury benches lawmakers to be calm.

Soon after Aitzaz Ahsan’s speech, Chuadhry Nisar also took the floor, but he left the house when he was stopped by the PM. Sensing the gravity of the situation, the speaker abruptly adjourned the session.

Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah also strongly criticised Nisar for disrupting the atmosphere. “We are not in favour of weakening the PM as it will weaken democracy. Your minister has put us into a test. Elephants of Porus are in your ranks. They are conspiring against the government and waiting for their turn,” he remarked.

He said Chaudhry Nisar should apologise to Aitzaz in the house. He further said an individual had embarrassed the entire house. He asserted the entire house was standing by the PM, but a conspiracy was started to divide it.

Addressing the prime minister, Khursheed Shah said: “You trusted Chaudhry Nisar and he stabbed you in the back. The entire parliament is united to deal with the situation. In the past the opposition took a political mileage out of the situation whenever hard times overtook the government. This time all the politicians frustrated the conspiracy against the democracy,” he remarked.