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Despite Zartaj Gul’s Forgiveness, National Assembly Suspends Cheema for Rule Violation

ISLAMABAD: In a significant disciplinary action, the National Assembly on Friday suspended the membership of PML-Q parliamentarian Tariq Bashir Cheema for the duration of the current session due to a rules violation. This decision followed a tumultuous event in the lower house of parliament, where Cheema’s conduct sparked outrage.

The previous day, chaos erupted after Cheema, concluding his speech on the national assembly floor, approached PTI’s Zartaj Gul and reportedly directed offensive language at her. His outburst was triggered by Gul’s persistent references to the Islamia University of Bahawalpur scandal during his speech.

Cheema’s “inappropriate” remarks provoked the PTI lawmakers, who moved towards the treasury benches to confront him. However, MNAs from the ruling alliance intervened and managed to rescue Cheema from the escalating situation.

In response to this incident, the former ruling party considered filing a First Information Report (FIR) against Cheema. Amidst the rising tension, NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq stepped in to mediate and resolve the issue diplomatically.

Following the speaker’s intervention, Cheema issued an apology to Gul, which she accepted. Leader of the Opposition Omar Ayub Khan expressed gratitude to the speaker for his mediation. Gul, on her part, stated that she had forgiven Cheema following her party leadership’s decision.

When the house reconvened, Speaker Sadiq addressed the assembly, acknowledging the previous day’s incident which had disturbed many members. He then tabled a motion seeking Cheema’s suspension for the current session, which was subsequently approved by the lawmakers.

The National Assembly’s official X handle, announced the adoption of the motion, suspending MNA Cheema’s membership for the remainder of the 5th session. Speaker Sadiq remarked that the suspension was a necessary step following the “unfortunate incident” that occurred during the May 16, 2024, sitting of the House.

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