LAHORE – The opposition’s demand for the appearance of Chief Minster Shahbaz Sharif in the Punjab Assembly over the Asghar Khan case judgment caused uproar on Tuesday when the treasury not only suppressed the demand but also hurled a volley of allegations at the PPP leadership.
Opposition member Haji Shaukat Basra, on a point of order, criticised harshly on the chief minister over the issue of Asghar Khan case. Basra kept urging Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan to order the chief minister to show up at the house for clarifying his position, though he was reminded that the house had fixed Wednesday to take up the issue.
The speaker refused to call the chief minister, saying that it was the ‘chief minister’s discretion’. “The House cannot call him forcibly. He will certainly come, but on his own choice,” the speaker said. Dissatisfied with the chair, the opposition members started hurling a volley of allegations at the chief minister, compelling Parliamentary Secretary on Law Tahir Sindhu to defend the chief minister.
Rana Arshad and other treasury members counted failures of the federal government to deliver and blamed the PPP for the dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971. The chair asked Amna Ulfat to read her adjournment motion, but nobody listened to her speech. The sitting was adjourned until today when the opposition pointed out lack of quorum.
Earlier, the chair had issued notice to the heads of the departments concerned when 16 of the 27 questions on the question book regarding the Department of Youth Affairs, Sports, Archeology and Tourism, were received unanswered after four years.
Major (r) Abdul Rahman urged the chair take up matter of the enforcing the house directives to the department concerned. The house be take the matter as to how many questions were raised and how many were answered and what action was taken. Giving no answer to the House queries was in fact a disgrace, said another opposition member Shabbir while another Hassan Murazqa pointed out that the secretary concerned was also not present in the house and wanted the chair to take stern action against the babus for defying the house orders.
However, Rana Arshad defended the secretary concerned, saying that he (the babu) was in Islamabad to attend a federal government meeting on sugar. On being pressed by the Opposition member, he undertook to bring proof next day to establish his words.
The house disposed a motion of Rahman on the character building of the prisoners by improving conditions in jails and proposed that cases of small cause be decided by Panchayat that convicts in petty offence should be awarded deferred punishment, that jail should be give another nomenclature, that hardened criminals should be kept separately and that a system must be evolved to maintain account of expenditure on every prisoner. The parliamentary secretary addressed all the points and said that accepting the first one, all others were under execution through the ministry of law.
The chair called for a reply by Monday to a another motion that stated that future of thousands of ninth class students was at stake as the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (Bise) had denied to register them since the computer accepting their data, was not accepting the candidates below 13. And the board did not have any alternative.