LAHORE – The Punjab Assembly Thursday virtually turned into a battlefield when members of Treasury and Opposition engaged in hand to hand combat over vulgar remarks of Unification Bloc’s Sheikh Alauddin that he made about the women MPs of the opposition during the previous session.

Sheikh Alauddin who sparked the clash on Wednesday (June 20) was not seen anywhere around on Thursday as Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal suspended his membership for the current session. Alauddin, who is also heading the Punjab government’s Ashiana Housing Scheme, had used immoral language the other day against women members of the opposition, particularly PML-Q’s Seemal Kamran. The speaker suspended Seemal membership for the ongoing sitting of the house as well.

The Thursday’s session turned ugly when Opposition Leader Raja Riaz on a point of order demanded suspension of the membership of treasury member Nasim Nasir Khawaja for playing part in the unpleasant episode on Wednesday. He said the opposition would not let the treasury to proceed for voting on the finance bill until Khawaja’s suspension. He asked the speakers to adjourn the session for half an hour and watch the video clip of hurling of a shoe at the opposition benches during Wednesday’s session.

The speaker however continued the proceedings, while the opposition started raising slogans against the government and the PML-Q member.

Samina Khawar Hayat along with her other colleagues tried to approach the speaker’s dais, while the treasury members, tried to intercept them. Rana Arshad even grabbed a chair in a bid to hit the women opposition members.

During the skirmishes, PML-Q member Khadija Umer received several slaps from treasury women members, while treasury member Amjad Mayo lost his shirt during the process. Ms Rahat, another treasury member, missed her chance to slap an opposition member as she lost her balance in the tug-of war between the two sides.

The speaker kept on shouting “order, order, order!” but his calls for calm were lost to noise and clamour. Treasury member Dr Saeed Elahi along with some of his colleagues continued efforts to make peace but he too failed to arrange for a ceasefire.

The chaos continued till the speaker adjourned the session for 15 minutes, after running the unruly house for around 20 minutes which was summoned for voting on the Punjab Finance Bill 2012-13 along with eight other bills.

Opposition Leader Raja Riaz alleged the speaker of playing partial, saying he banned the entry of a PML-Q member but did not deal with treasury member Nasim Nasir Khawaja in the same way. The speaker, who assured Riaz of looking into the matter of Nasim’s conduct during Wednesday’s session, later deliberating over the matter in his chamber suspended her membership for the current session as well.

The scene outside the assembly were not much different from the inside, as opposition and treasury members scuffled with each other on the outer grounds over Seemal Kamran’s insistence to enter the assembly premises. Seemal’s membership was suspended for throwing a shoe at Sheikh Alauddin, who had passed vulgar remarks against women opposition members.

Seemal fell unconscious at the assembly stairs after about four-hour long protest against barring her entry into the house. Rescue 1122 moved her to a local hospital. Seemal on her arrival at the assembly premises was stopped by security guards who told her that she could not enter the building as per speaker’s orders.

Members of the opposition protested against this act and started a protest outside the Punjab Assembly. They pushed the guards in an attempt to make way for Seemal’s entry. A commotion started inside the assembly as well as members of the opposition raised their voice against barring her from entering the assembly. They said that Seemal was not issued a written order.

Women were seen slapping each other and pulling each other’s clothes, while men were seen grabbing each other’s collars. PML-Q’s Seema Khawar was approaching the speaker’s dais when PML-N MPA Rana Arshad tried to stop her, starting another clash between PML-Q and PML-N members.

Battlefield PA: Chairs hurled, shirts ripped