If Senior Minister Raja Riaz Ahmed can comb his ever-receding hairline sitting on the front bench of the Punjab Assembly floor, and female members can gnaw chewgums or sugared-betel nuts, then Malik Muhammad Javed Iqbal Awan of the Pakistan Muslim League-N has set yet another example of its own kind when he kept on dishing out wedding cards to the fellow members during the proceedings.
In the highest legislative House of the Punjab, and the biggest provincial assembly of Pakistan, Javed Iqbal Awan arrived on the floor after the House was resumed at 12:20 pm on Friday. He was carrying a blue-coloured plastic shopper, and started unfolding it, which must have produced some bizarre noise inaudible to the mediamen sitting in the Press Gallery, but definitely audible to his fellows. Then, he started sorting out wedding cards and looking for names present in the House at that moment.
The first one to get the wedding card was senior parliamentarian Saeed Akbar Niwani, who considers it binding upon him to teach his junior colleagues the parliamentary norms. For this, he has been repeatedly on record telling even to the Speaker that certain things should be done in a particular way. “When the Opposition Leader is speaking, no one is supposed to interrupt him,” is an instance in this regard, which is still continuing to date as members do interrupt the Leader.
For the second one, Javed Awan used the services of his senior colleague from the same district Khushab and sitting next to him Malik Muhammad Waris Kalo, who tapped another MPA’s shoulder in the side row with the card repeatedly for ‘despatching’ the card to another.
After completing distribution to his acquaintances and friends, who could be reached from the seat, Javed Awan moved to the row right in front of the Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan, and dished out cards to others.
It goes without saying that as per rules and norms of the Punjab Assembly, neither the members should be eating something nor involving themselves in any other activity, except the business of the House when they on the floor.
Interestingly, neither his colleagues nor the Speaker stopped him from doing so.
Earlier, members never stopped talking on their cell phones despite repeated requests by the Speaker, and this got stopped ‘compulsorily’ when mobile jammers were installed in the Assembly.