LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Thursday plunged into a complete disorder after a verbal duel erupted between the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) parliamentary leader and women members from the opposition.
Having failed to defuse tension in the house, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Mohammad Iqbal adjourned the session for an hour. The situation got tense on the first and the last day of the 29th session of the PA when during his speech in support of the proposed ‘Thal Province’, Ali Hyder Noor Niazi, an MPA from Mianwali, started targeting the opposition leaders and termed them “traitors, Mir Jaffer and Mir Sadiq”. In the beginning, the opposition members tried to interrupt Ali Niazi by creating an uproar in the house but then suddenly a group of PML-Q women MPAs started throwing pieces of paper at him. This infuriated Ali Niazi, who turned towards them and started chiding them loudly.
The situation took an ugly turn when Fauzia Behram, one of the senior most women MPAs of the PPP in the PA, stood up and pushed Ali Niazi back and asked him to stop using objectionable, abusive language against women. This sent Ali Niazi into retreat; he returned to his seat but was soon surrounded by a group of women MPAs from the opposition including Fauzia Behram, Samina Khawar and others, who kept taunting him over his remarks. Soon, a number of PML-N male MPAs also came to the rescue of their fellow, who asked the women members to disperse, but they wouldn’t.
The speaker on the occasion kept issuing directions of ‘Order in the House’ but the opposition MPAs didn’t pay any attention. Later, for a brief period, when Ali Niazi was given permission to continue his speech, he remarked that none of the house members had the right to touch him or throw anything on him.
Following these remarks, Fauzia Behram once again approached him, and this resulted in an extreme exchange of harsh words between the two members. Interestingly, when Fauzia and Ali Niazi indulged in the row, Rana Mohammad Arshad, a PML-N MPA from Nankana, unnecessarily jumped into the fray. It angered Fauzia Behram who approached Rana Arshad in a way that stunned him. However, Speaker Rana Iqbal, without wasting any time, adjourned the session for an hour. The proceedings were resumed after an hour and the speaker asked Ali Niazi to offer an apology, but he refused, and again used objectionable language against his ‘agitators’.
However, the PA couldn’t take up the business and most of the time was wasted on issues including making new provinces including ‘Seraiki’, ‘Thal’ and even ‘Faisalabad’ and ‘Sangla Hill’.