The much anticipated joint parliamentary session on Wednesday left dark clouds over the future of the country’s legislation system.

Number game of parliamentarians:

The government needed a majority in the joint sitting of houses to pass bills where the total strength was 440 members.

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The party position in parliament showed that the treasury had a majority of just two votes if the two Houses were combined together. According to party position, the number of Opposition members in the 440-member joint House came to 219 against 221 treasury members, 221 members of the government and its allies were present with 213 members of the Opposition.

Bills to be reviewed:

More than a dozen bills were presented in parliament.

The major bills: Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Voting rights to overseas Pakistanis were passed in the absence of Opposition.

The other bills include:

The Anti-Rape (Investigation and Trial) Bill

The Hyderabad Institute for Technical and Management Sciences Bill, 2021

The State Bank of Pakistan Banking Services Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The International Court of Justice (Review and Re-consideration) Bill, 2021

Security arrangements:

The in-house security of the National Assembly (NA) was made to stand in front of the Speaker dice to prevent the Opposition members from reaching the dice and cause a commotion.

Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) leader Hina Rabbani Khar termed the situation as “martial law”.

Ruckus in NA:

During voting, things got heated up from both sides.

In a video, PPP’s Qadir Mandokhel can be seen involved in a fight with the government representatives.

The decorum of the House couldn’t stay still, copies of the agenda books were torn, pieces of paper were thrown at Speaker NA Asad Qaiser.

A heated exchange of words took place between Qaiser and parliamentarians.

Qaiser lashing out at the parliamentarians. “Stay within your limits, mend your way of talking.”

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Opposition walkout:

The Opposition walked out of the House giving the government a chance to pass the bills. They argued that the Opposition’s votes counted were fewer than actual numbers and eventually walked out.

Session now led by Senate Chairman:

Speaker Asad Qaiser will no longer be chairing the proceedings after the passage of important legislation. Instead, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani will lead parliamentary proceedings.

Reaction:

Twitterati reacted to the heated situation in parliament.