The National Assembly on Friday witnessed utter disorder when treasury benches staged heavy protest during Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif’s address to the House. The House was marred by chants and slogans from the treasury benches against the opposition leader. Chaos continued as Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri repeatedly urged Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif to start his speech on the federal budget for fiscal year 2019-20. Members of the government chanted slogans against the opposition leader as he continued to try to speak – an episode which lasted for more than 45 minutes as the opposition leader stood up and sat down several times.Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari expressed displeasure over providing speaker’s dais to Shehbaz Sharif to initiate budget debate and said it has never happened in the past, asking that parliamentary traditions should be followed in this regard. Following which, a number of parliamentarians rose from their seats seeking the chair’s permission to speak on the point of order. This made the session noisy as members from both sides started directly arguing with each other, forcing the speaker to suspend the House proceedings for 10 minutes.Before suspending the proceeding, the speaker made frequent requests to maintain order in the House and avoiding crosstalk. Later, on resumption of the proceedings, the speaker asked Shehbaz Sharif to start debate on the federal budget presented by the government on June 11. But, Shehbaz Sharif again requested the speaker to ensure order in the House as the members were still arguing with each other. Amid deputy speaker struggling to maintain order in the House, Shehbaz began his speech by criticizing the government’s economic policies. He accused Imran Khan-led government of taking the dollar up ‘to the skies’ against the rupee and said its ‘propaganda machinery’ cannot hide the administration’s ‘worst performance’.The opposition leader had only uttered a few sentences when the assembly session was again halted due to loud protest from the government lawmakers. With the situation having reached an impasse, Deputy Speaker Suri announced the adjournment of the session until 4pm on Monday. Earlier, when the point of order for the session was announced, PPP protested against the non-issuance of former president Asif Ali Zardari’s production order, who was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday. Taking the floor, former prime minister and PPP leader Raja Pervez Ashraf raised the issue of production orders of Zardari. “Currently Asif Ali Zardari is present in Islamabad at a distance of three minutes. He is a former president [and] his absence in this important session of the House and the non-issuance of his production orders will not be considered a good tradition,” he said.He asked Speaker Asad Qaiser to issue production order of Zardari, enabling him to attend the budget session. He asked the treasury benches to exhibit responsible attitude in the parliament, adding that parliament is a reflection of collective wisdom of 220 million people and it should be respected.At a joint press conference following the assembly session, opposition leaders criticised members of the government for disrupting the order in the House. “The government does not want the budget session to continue,” said Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif, claiming that he has heard that ministers were ordered to disrupt the session on orders from the leadership. “Opposition leaders want to debate on the budget, but the government does not want that. We want the budget to be passed,” former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said. “We want to provide relief to the masses, but the government does not wish that to happen,” he added.Separately, talking to reporters outside the parliament, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry also gave his two cents on what had ensued in the National Assembly. “Our demand in National Assembly session was simple. We wanted the opposition to apologise for their conduct during the budget session and the opposition leader would have then been allowed to continue his speech,” he said, referring to the opposition’s attempts to disrupt the presentation of the budget on Wednesday.