Federal Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has been facing immense criticism over his remarks against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s member national assembly Shireen Mazari. During a recent session of the parliament the Defense Minister pointed towards Mazari and said, “Someone make this tractor trolley keep quiet” when she and some other lawmakers protested to his speech on loadshedding during Ramazan.
“Make her voice more feminine,” he said, according to eyewitnesses. Another lawmaker chimed in from the government benches to say “Keep quiet, aunty.” When Mazari stood in protest and argued with the speaker’s decision, Asif said: “I am not going to apologise, they can do whatever they want.” Later in a letter written to speaker Ayaz Sadiq, Khawaja Asif apologized for his behaviour. However, his apology was rejected by Shireen Mazari who said that the Minister should directly apologize to her.
The comments made by the Defense Minister were not only non-parliamentary but also against even basic ethics. The debates in the parliament should not stoop so low. Parliamentarians should actually set an example for the general public with the way they carry themselves and speak not just in the parliament but in general as well. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has often hinted at the ‘questionable’ language used by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Imran Khan during his rallies, however, the Prime Minister should also order his own party members to avoid lewd remarks. However, a good thing to come out of this saga was the support Mazari got not just from his own party members but also from other opposition parties. Daughter of former president Asif Ali Zardari, Asifa Bhutto Zardari took to twitter and demanded the Prime Minister’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz Sharif to take notice of comments made by the Minister.
Parliamentarians must not use such derogatory language against each other.