GILGIT, July 24: Punches flew in and outside the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) on Monday. The first day of the assembly session witnessed altercations and brawls, amid slogans, among opposition legislators, their supporters and those of the ruling party.
Speaker Fida Muhammad Nashad had to call in the police force to control the situation and prorogued the session till Tuesday.
The scuffle and brawl first erupted between the ruling party ministers before the assembly session on the allocation of funds and other issues.
The rowdy situation erupted again after the oath-taking of Javed Hussain, the newly-elected member of the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) from Nagar-4 in a recently held by-election.
As the speaker formally started the proceedings, some local leaders and activists of PPP sitting in the guests’ gallery of the assembly started chanting slogans.
The Deputy Speaker Jaffarullah stood up and made derogatory remarks against the political opponents describing them “footpathia” a derogatory word used for the poor.
The Speaker intervened and asked the activists to keep quiet.
Haji Rizwan of the Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) protested against the deputy speaker’s words. “When the ruling party ministers themselves act like “footpathias” and bring disrespect to the house how can they expect others to maintain decorum” he questioned.
Upon which the opposition activists once again started chanting “go Nawaz go” slogan. This infuriated the deputy speaker and another ruling party Minister for Agriculture Janbaz Khan who stood up on their benches and exchanged verbal brawl.
Meanwhile, the opposition legislators and their supporters from PPP and MWM assembled outside the assembly and chanted slogans of ‘Go Nawaz Go’.
They scuffled with the ruling party members and their supporters. In the meantime, Deputy Speaker Jaffarullah punched the opposition legislator Capt (retd) Shafi in the face for chanting slogan against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The police intervened and dispersed the charged activists and legislators from both sides.
The opposition members demanded an apology from the deputy speaker and an action against him for using derogatory and ‘non-parliamentary’ words.
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