ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly, during yesterday’s proceedings, saw uproar on host of issues as lawmakers from treasury and opposition spent almost half of time indulging in verbal brawl and launching personal attacks on each other.

Senior lawmakers from both sides of the aisle locked horns over the legislation on Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Ordinance, 2019, comparison of policies of present and previous governments and other matters.

The government side faced first criticism for passing Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Ordinance, 2019 with majority of votes in the house.

The joint opposition, including PPP-P, PML-N and JUI-F came down hard on the government for passing the ordinance by allegedly avoiding debate in the National Assembly. However, the government side defended that previous government had passed many times ordinances from the parliament without conducting debate.

“It is tantamount to shedding crocodile tears, as this practice was introduced in the previous government era,” said treasury benches senior legislator Shafqat Mehmood, mentioning there was no harm in passing ordinance if it was necessary. The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council Ordinance, 2019 was passed with majority vote amid hullabaloo and sloganeering from opposition side.

The proposed ordinance has been developed with inputs of current ad-hoc PM&DC council established through the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan and renowned professionals in the field.

The draft PMDC 2019 was duly seen and created by National Health Reform Task Force in its meeting.

The number of council members has been rationalised and three lay persons are included as members to get inputs of the community, a swift and accountable system for recognition of medical institutions has been proposed, the role of ministry has been revised and made more balanced. Powers of the council have been rationalised along with powers to make committee to assist the council.

The second verbal brawl was witnessed between Minister Ghulam Sarwar and PML-N senior MNA and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in middle of the proceedings. Both the lawmakers did not hesitate to pass personal remarks against each other.

Federal Minister Ghulam Sarwar, pointing to Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, posed a question that what was the secret behind imbalance of economic loss in PIA and private airline. Sarwar, inviting uproar from PML-N, also criticised policies of previous government.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, responding Ghulam Sarwar, said the PTI government had failed to provide relief to masses. He did not hesitate to launch personal attack on Ghulam Sarwar and criticised the recent reshuffle in the federal cabinet. The PML-N MNAs with support of rest of opposition parties also gathered around speaker’s podium when the chair switched off Abbasi’s mic. They chanted anti-government slogans and once again managed to get the floor.

Abbasi said lawmakers should avoid locking horns over personal issues. “Others will come and say the politicians have failed to deliver,” he warned. He asked the chair to run proceedings as per agenda. “Personal brawls of politicians will not help flourishing democracy in the country,” he said.

JUI-F’s MNA Maulana Asad, on a point of order, rejected press briefing of ISPR on the matter of regulating religious seminaries (Madaris). “We reject it, as policy-making is job of government,” he said.

JUI-F’s MNA demanded of the government to immediately conduct general elections in the country. “Rulers have no real mandate so the government should immediately conduct general elections in the country,” he demanded.

He strongly criticised prime minister’s statements for allegedly conceding that the country’s soil had been used in the past by terrorists to carry out attacks in Iran. “There is a need of legal action on this statement,” he demanded.

MNA from North Waziristan Mohsin Dawar, at the fag end of proceedings, said that ISPR DG held press conference against them. “Allegations were levelled. We are ready for accountability,” he said. He said that they were denied to hold press conference in the press club.

Both Mohsin Dawar and Ali Wazir form North Waziristan gathered around speaker’s podium when the chair switched off mic of Mohsin Dawar. “You have spoken on your turns now I will give floor to other lawmaker,” said the chair, but they were insisting to get more time.

In the meanwhile, lawmaker from opposition pointed out quorum and the chair abruptly adjourned the proceedings.