Speaker NA stages walkout, setting rare example


In an unprecedented move, Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq staged a walkout on Tuesday.
Annoyed by the absence of Interior Ministry officials, Sadiq said he could not tolerate disrespect of the Parliament.
The move came after the speaker was informed that Interior Secretary Arshad Mirza could not appear before the Parliament until 12:30pm to answer questions pertaining to draft bills regarding compulsory drug tests of student 2018 and prevention of drugs in educational institutions 2018.
Exasperated with the lack of decorum extended to the parliament, Sadiq staged a walkout. “I will continue staging walkouts until Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi gives a written undertaking that such a scenario will not be repeated,” he warned. “Henceforth, I will not chair any session.”
“The parliament is being ridiculed despite the presence of a federal minister, state minister and parliamentary secretary,” he added.
The NA session was then chaired by Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi. “If no action is taken against absence of interior ministry officials, the parliament will decide whether to stage protest.”—INP

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