Assembly’s Decorum

Published in Pakistan Today on the 14th of March, 2011.

The decorum of the Punjab Assembly was ripped to shreds today in its first sitting of the ongoing session. The blatant display of indecency, impatience, and intolerance was not only embarrassing for us Members but also for this entire province. I, as a Member of this Assembly and on behalf of all the Members, can only apologise to my public for this show.
A huge amount of tax money is spent on a single days sitting of the Assembly, it was sad to see that money being utilised for a display that by no means required a forum so esteemed, such displays are deemed uncivilised and below civility even if they occur in a congregation of uneducated people.
Today somehow the Assembly was overcome with a sudden gush of messed up priorities, misdirected angers and needless fury and consequently we paid the cost of losing respect in the eyes of the international community that watched us on the media, we lost respect in the eyes of our public and our voters and to what gain?
Were we trying to please our respective party leaders? If so, all we managed to do was cause insult and humiliation to them, by chanting indecent and abusive slogans for the leaders of a rival party, we caused the same slogans to be chanted for our own leaders. We represent the public in these Assemblies, we are here to look out for their interests, our loyalties should be FIRST to our public and then to any party or party leader. The Assembly is a place for serious discussion, debates, legislation and for addressing issues that affect the masses. It is not a place to have a face off at sloganeering, to wave sandals or to display placards containing indecent and abusive remarks.
We need to not let our differences turn us into enemies. We need to adopt culture and civility, which is the essence of our religion, in our attitudes. And when we begin to display that culture, civility and that sincerity, obviously, so will our representatives and we may seize to be merely a group of individuals who happen to live in geographical proximity and become a nation.


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