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Friday July 19, 2024

VIDEO: 'Put on headphones', Tarar tells Asif amid NA protest

Lower house faces turbulence amid PTI-backed MNAs' sloganeering against anti-terrorism military operation

By Web Desk
June 23, 2024
Federal Minister for Law Azam Nazeer Tarar (left) speaks to Defence Minister Khawaja Asif during National Assembly session on June 23, 2024. — Screengrab/YouTube/GeoNews
Federal Minister for Law Azam Nazeer Tarar (left) speaks to Defence Minister Khawaja Asif during National Assembly session on June 23, 2024. — Screengrab/YouTube/GeoNews

Federal Minister of Law Azam Nazeer Tarar came to Defence Minister Khawaja Asif's rescue, telling him to "put on the headphones" and go ahead as the opposition MNAs disrupted his speech during the National Assembly session during the debate on federal budget 2024-25. 

The NA session was marred by ruckus as the treasury and opposition benches engaged in an altercation over a new military operation aimed at rooting out militancy amid Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) members sloganeering against operation Azm-e-Istehkam. 

While Asif spoke on the assembly's floor, the opposition benches caused turbulence not letting the minister to speak. 

Asif said that the opposition was "standing with the terrorists", not the country as the PTI vehemently opposed the operation Azm-e-Istehkam.

The defence minister said he was speaking about the country's security, but the PTI's only goal was to protest and not to hear him out. "They are neither with the country nor with the Constitution."

During all the commotion, Tarar stood up and told Asif to put on the headphones to avoid disturbance as the latter was unable to speak due to to noise.

A video of the moment was captured on national TV where the law minister was heard telling Asif in Punjabi: "Headphone lao bhaijaan.. Allah di kasmay.. mic na kadeya... (Put on the headphones brother.. I swear to God... don't take off the mic)."

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) rival PTI staged a walkout from the NA session for an hour and returned later.

The lawmakers from the opposition said that they weren't taken into confidence over the operation, while the government assured them that their concerns would be addressed.

The Shehbaz Sharif-led government had Saturday announced the fresh counter-terrorism operation, pledging to utilise the full strength of the country's resources, including military, diplomatic, and legislative, to turn the heat up on militants.

The Central Apex Committee on National Action Plan (NAP) gave the approval for the operation, in which top officials of all provinces were present, including PTI-backed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur.

The move comes as the country has witnessed a significant surge in terrorist attacks in recent months resulting in scores of both civilian and security forces' casualties.