Since 2015, I have had more than 15 meetings with Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. During informal and off the record meetings, I always found him too polite and proper.

The rogue in me mostly felt rather uncomfortable with his politically correct language and mannerism and seriously considered them unfit for the heat and dust of our dirt and gossip-driven politics.  Thursday, he did stun me, therefore, by using an expression against the Imran government that was…Well, ‘rude,’ to say the least.

During the closing moments of the National Assembly sitting, when most parliamentary reporters were almost yawning in the press lounge, he appeared on CCTV screens.

With a visibly angry prance, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari seemed rushing to his seat and asked for the mic on a point of order.

Given the floor, he told the Deputy Speaker that while sitting in the lobby he had just heard the news of Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s arrest.

Her arrest, “without any conviction,” forced him to recall the days of General Zia’s martial law, “When the dictatorial regime used to target women belonging to the families of its political opponents.”

The Imran government, he declared with absolute fury, had begun employing the same repressive tools that the Zia regime had introduced in this country.

The childhood memories appeared compelling Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to feel emotionally connected to Maryam Nawaz and swayed by the fit of rage, he used an expression that was surely not expected from him.

One felt relieved; for, he walked out “in protest” after condemning the arrest of Maryam Nawaz Sharif with scathing words.

A large group of the PTI backbenchers felt insulted with the word the PPP Chairman had used. Almost each of them seemed desperate to get even, both verbally and perhaps physically as well.

Ahsan Iqbal, the former minister of interior and planning, was the senior most person sitting on the PML-N benches. He wanted to speak immediately after Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Qasim Suri, the Deputy Speaker, correctly realized that to restore calm and order, someone from the PTI benches must get the chance to respond first. He gave the floor to Murad Saeed, the communication minister.

With relentless vigor and energy, the youthful Saeed has gradually developed the reputation of being the one and only from the PTI, who can confront the leading lights of the number-strong opposition in the National Assembly.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had publicly acknowledged and appreciated his capacity for “showing mirror” to PTI’s opponents and “put them in their real place, with the use of language that they deserve.”

Sitting in the press gallery, however, one couldn’t fathom a word of Saeed’s speech Thursday afternoon, which apparently sounded as if taking on the “looters, plunderers and money launders,” crowding both the PML-N and the PPP.

Leaving their seats, the PML-N members reached before the Speaker’s dais. Facing Murad Saeed, they kept chanting slogans against Imran Khan.

With utmost contempt, the youthful minister kept describing them as “conscience-less DARBARIS (courtiers).”

To prevent a definite-looking fracas, the Deputy Speaker had to adjourn the House until Friday morning.

Before leaving the parliament building, however, the furious members of the PML-N and the PTI were seen pushing each other, right in front of the main entrance, to monopolize narrative-building before TV cameras of 24/7 channels.

We are bound to suffer another round of ugly scenes at the outset of the Friday sitting.

The arrest of Maryam Nawaz Sharif has surely shocked the PML-N. It didn’t surprise me, however.

An overwhelming majority of legislators, elected to the National and the Punjab assemblies on the PML-N ticket during the polls of 2018, had certainly turned dormant of late.

Most of them feel paralyzed with the fear of being picked up by the accountability outfits. As if the fear of being nabbed by NAB were not enough, one of the most vocal PML-N leaders, Rana Sanaullah, had also been arrested under the grave charges of drug trafficking.

The Speakers of both the National and the Punjab Assembly used to furnish some solace to traumatized pockets of the opposition by signing the production orders that facilitated the presence of an arrested legislator to parliamentary proceedings.

After getting his government’s first budget passed from the National Assembly in late June, Prime Minister Imran Khan forcefully questioned “the luxury” that legislators, arrested for “serious charges of corruption and money laundering” had been availing through “production orders.”

Asad Qaiser, the National Assembly speaker, had begun to take long for signing the production orders since then. Even when he does sign on some, “selective discretion” looks too obvious.

Disregarding the “pragmatic” and self-protecting caution adopted by the majority of PML-N leaders, Maryam Nawaz Sharif decided to reach the “vote bank,” feeling sympathy for her father.

Through a series of mass-contact rallies and diligent use of social media, she certainly struggled hard to ignite grassroots activism in main cities of Central Punjab. She had to be checked. Period.

Most of the opposition leaders also proved too naïve while presuming that the Modi government had made them somewhat relevant by scrapping Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. To deal with ominous consequences of the said scrapping, they seriously hoped, the PTI government might need to approach them with a kind heart in the name of building national consensus.

Then, a joint sitting of both houses of parliament was fixed for Tuesday. Asif Ali Zardari and Khawaja Sa’ad Rafique were allowed to participate in its proceedings due to signing of production orders.

One day one of the joint parliamentary sitting, however, the Prime Minister felt extremely disappointed with the kind of “strategic input,” he had gathered from a lengthy speech of Shehbaz Sharif, the opposition leader.

Prime Minister Imran Khan opted to leave the house, immediately after the speech of Shehbaz Sharif. Before leaving, he also told the opposition leader, in frustrated fury, that he failed to generate any doable ideas during his lengthy speech. “You wanted me (but) to declare the war on India,” he told Shehbaz Sharif in a tone that smacked of “in your face.”

The day after, i.e., Wednesday, all 24/7 channels were cut live on Shehzad Akbar Mirza, while bombastic speeches on Kashmir were still being declared during the joint parliamentary sitting.

Mirza is the point person of the PTI, deputed to “recover the looted money from plunderers,” who had been running the previous governments of the PPP and the PML-N from 2008 to 2018.

During his extensive presser, Mirza sounded too delighted for “locating fresh and solid” grounds to prove charges of compulsive money laundering that the whole of Sharif family had allegedly been committing since the 1990s. He also named Maryam Nawaz Sharif as one of the main culprits.

Before Mirza’s going live, we also heard the news of Miftah Ismail’s arrest by the National Accountability Bureau.

Both the developments clearly conveyed to us that while dealing with ominous consequences of Modi’s decision of scrapping Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, the PTI government was in no mood to “forget and forgive” the real or alleged doings of the Sharifs and Zardaris of this world.

“Ruthless accountability” remains the top priority of this government, take it or leave it.