Speaker briefly suspends Cheema for insulting Zartaj

Muhammad Anis
Saturday, May 18, 2024

ISLAMABAD: Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Friday, handed a token punishment to PML-Q parliamentarian Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema briefly suspending his membership on charges of eroding the sanctity of the House.

The National Assembly adopted a motion moved by the Speaker to suspend membership of Tariq Cheema for the remainder of the ongoing session. The suspension, however, lasted for less than 10 minutes as the chair prorogued the session after adopting a couple of motions. The session was prorogued abruptly without taking up any item on order of the day for Friday. The House was to execute business including question hour, two calling attention notices and debate on the presidential address. The opposition member Barrister Gohar Khan, later leading a demonstration of SIC parliamentarians’ in support of farmers, outside the Parliament House, criticized the sudden prorogation of the session.

Earlier the Speaker put the question to the House for suspending Tariq Bashir Cheema from services of the House for the remainder of the session under rule 21 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007.

The speaker thanked members from all parties for taking the issue seriously for resolution.

The House also adopted another motion moved by PPP’s Syed Naveed Qamar to authorise the Speaker to nominate members to the standing committees. “All the standing committees of the National Assembly are elected and the Speaker be authorised to nominate members to the committees on recommendations of parliamentary parties heads,” the motion said. The Speaker may make such changes in the composition of the standing committees as and when he deems fit, it said.

Meanwhile, the Speaker said that he has set very strict guidelines about security adding he had issued instructions to confiscate cell phones of those making videos.

Speaking on a point of order, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said there remains a rush of visitors outside lifts, the doors of the National Assembly Hall and the desk from where announcements are made for drivers of parliamentarians. The Speaker said on May 14 he had issued written directives, besides directing the Ministry of Interior to support the National Assembly Secretariat in beefing up the security.