Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Leader of the opposition Khursheed Shah faced flak from his colleagues and Aseefa Bhutto Zardari after a sexist remark during a session of National Assembly here on Thursday.


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During today’s proceedings speaker of the house Ayyaz Sadiq asked women lawmakers to lower their voice or to step outside while the house conducted its business.

But, Khursheed went a mile more and quipped that the speaker should not instruct them to stop their conversation.

“Do not ask these women to stop talking, speaker; they will fall ill if they don’t talk continuously.” remarked Khurshhed Shah.

The NA speaker was quick to tell Shah, a senior leader of the PPP, that: “You are hurting your privilege by speaking this way about women.”

Shah’s comments stirred controversy as MNA Nafisa Shah, who belongs to his own Pakistan Peoples Party, said she would stage a protest, asking why the speaker was only silencing women if men too were talking.

The speaker silenced her again, saying: ‘You cannot challenge the chair.’

The comments of opposition leader exasperated Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, sister of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who urged Shah to aplogise over the remarks.

The National Assembly sessions sporadically witness controversial comments being passed mostly by male legislators.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif came under fire by opposition lawmakers in June last year for making offensive remarks against PTI’s Shireen Mazari, including calling her a “tractor trolley”.

In addition, Sindh Assembly session witnessed ruckus in January after Minister for Works and Services, Imdad Ali Pitafi, passed indecent remarks to opposition MPA Nusrat Sahar Abbasi.

Imdad Ali Pitafi was compelled to tender apology after senior leadership of PPP got involved.