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National Assembly Speaker Suspends Eight Security Officials for Unauthorized Entry

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has taken disciplinary action by suspending eight security officials due to the unauthorized entry of individuals into the Parliament House building. This action, aimed at upholding parliamentary security and supremacy, involves initiating departmental proceedings against the officials.

The move follows recent restrictions imposed by the assembly’s DG on reporters, prohibiting them from carrying mobile phones to the press gallery. This decision was prompted by the airing of footage, recorded on a mobile phone, depicting the opposition’s protest during PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s speech.

In response, journalists covering parliamentary proceedings are planning to protest against this ban on mobile phones.

During Friday’s NA proceedings, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif raised concerns about parliamentary security and the safety of parliamentarians. In response, the speaker emphasized the paramount importance of ensuring Parliament’s security and sanctity, stressing that it represents the entirety of Pakistan’s population. The speaker highlighted Parliament’s constitutional and legal responsibility to safeguard its security.

Minister Asif expressed apprehension regarding the vulnerability of Parliament House to potential terrorist attacks, citing concerns over the large influx of visitors and the presence of TikTokers and social media activists. He urged restricting visitor numbers to address security risks.

The speaker indicated that he had issued verbal instructions and written directives on May 14 to address security concerns, with plans to further discuss the matter with the interior ministry and Islamabad police chief. Additionally, he announced the confiscation of phones belonging to individuals, including TikTokers, at entry gates and lifts.

This recent action by the speaker follows a similar incident on May 13, where PTI supporters were expelled from the gallery for raising slogans in support of Imran Khan.

Senior parliamentary reporter M.B. Soomro expressed grave concerns over the ban on mobile phones and the speaker’s actions against security officials. He emphasized the duty of reporters to inform the public about assembly proceedings, asserting that it was the people’s right to know about the actions of their representatives.

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