PML-N senior leader and former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Tuesday walked out of the National Assembly after assailing Speaker Asad Qaiser for not issuing production orders of his fellow party leader Rana Sanaullah.
Addressing the lower house, he claimed that he had been attending the sitting not because of the speaker’s production orders but because of the court’s ruling. “I will not beg you for a production order and I am going back,” he said before leaving the house in protest.
Abbasi disclosed that he had written three letters to the speaker seeking the issuance of production orders of all the jailed opposition members. “I will place your reply in the NA library for record which you had sent through a section officer telling me that only you have the powers to issue production orders,” he said while addressing the speaker.
“You have asked me to go to the court. I have great respect for the chair even if you have no respect.
“I have seen speakers like Fakhar Imam, Mairaj Khalid and Yousuf Raza Gillani who made no compromises on principles and their powers. If you have pressure from somewhere please say it.”
Abbasi noted that five members of the NA are currently in detention without conviction.
“It is your duty to issue production orders of each and every member without discrimination at the start of each session,” he told the speaker. “Denying production orders means negation of people’s rights.
“My production order carries the date of December 4 but I have been brought here today. Do you have the courage to take notice of the non-implementation of your orders?”
The PML-N leader asked the speaker whether he had read the court decision in the case against Deputy Speaker Qasim Khan Suri which he said states that the people of a constituency “could not be denied their right of representation in the assembly”.
“Issue the production order of Rana Sanaullah and I am going,” Abbasi said and proceeded to walk out.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar defended the speaker and praised him for running the house strictly in accordance with the rules.
“If you need any support from the government, we will provide you,” he told Qaiser, accusing the opposition of having “double standards”.
“Sometimes they quote rules and sometimes they refer to the traditions, whichever suits them. They should decide once for all whether the house should be run under the rules or by following traditions,” he said of the opposition.