Deputy speaker’s refusal prompts ARD walkout
ISLAMABAD: The Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) walked out of the National Assembly (NA) on Monday and pointed to a lack of quorum in the House when the NA deputy speaker disallowed Naheed Khan’s point of order demanding a debate on the violence against the participants of a run in Lahore on Saturday.
Punjab Police had forcibly dispersed men and women gathered to take part in the mixed run organised by Asma Jehangir, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) president. Asma Jehangir’s clothes were torn in the scuffle after which she was detained along with Iqbal Haider, HRCP secretary general, and others at several police stations.
Naheed Khan also showed pictures of Asma Jehangir’s torn clothes in the House.
The pictures were later submitted to the deputy speaker. “Are we living in an Islamic state or in a state where the law of the jungle has prevails? This action by the government has exposed its tall claims of ‘enlightened moderation’,” she said.
A female Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) activist was ‘disgraced’ several days ago and now human rights activists had become victim to police violence, she said, adding, “This issue must be discussed in the House and the perpetrators of this crime must be punished.”
The deputy speaker disallowed the point of order, asking Naheed Khan to bring an adjournment motion or an attention notice for debate on the issue.
As soon as the ARD members left the hall, Iqbal Memon of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) pointed out a lack of quorum, which suspended the session for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, the ARD submitted an adjournment motion seeking debate on the issue in the Upper House of parliament.
The following is the text of the motion: “Lahore Police on May 14 (Saturday) ruthlessly manhandled and baton-charged participants of a run organised by the HRCP on Ferozepur Road and arrested several human rights activists besides badly disrupting the events.