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Seven Lawmakers Banned from National Assembly till Further Orders

by Newsweek Pakistan

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Three members of the PTI, three of the PMLN and one of the PPP barred from entry to Parliament

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser on Wednesday banned seven lawmakers from entering Parliament House “until further orders,” citing their “grossly disorderly” conduct during the ongoing budget speech of Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif.

According to a statement issued by the speaker, three members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf; three of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz); and one of the Pakistan Peoples Party have been banned from parliamentary proceedings. It said that all seven lawmakers had been found to have “violated” the rules of Parliament despite “repeated direction” of the speaker to cease their activities.

“Therefore, I order for withdrawal of aforesaid members from the precincts of the National Assembly immediately. These members are required not to enter into the precincts of the Parliament House till further orders,” it added.

The statement said that the banned lawmakers comprised the PMLN’s Ali Gohar Khan, Chaudhary Hamid Hameed, and Sheikh Rohale Asghar; the PTI’s Faheem Khan, Abdul Majeed Khan, Ali Nawaz Awan; and the PPP’s Syed Agha Rafiullah.

The decision came following a meeting between Qaiser and Prime Minister Imran Khan during which the two leaders discussed the crisis in the National Assembly during this week’s proceedings.

On Tuesday, the National Assembly took on the appearance of a warzone, as ministers and parliamentarians of all parties hurled verbal abuse at each other during Sharif’s speech. The situation spiraled when the opposition and treasury benches started throwing copies of the proposed federal budget at each other, resulting in a PTI lawmaker getting injured after a book hit her in the eye. A day later, when Sharif tried to complete his speech, the ruckus continued, prompting Qaiser to suspend proceedings once again and announcing that he would not resume Parliament until the opposition and treasury had “resolved the issues” between themselves.

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