LAHORE - The PML-N’s soft corner for Geo News channel became evident on Friday when the Punjab Assembly passed a relatively soft-worded resolution against the said news channel, condemning the blasphemous content aired in one of its programmes last Wednesday.
The original resolution, a strong-worded one and moved by Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rashid was rejected by a majority vote, thereby forcing the opposition to approve the amended version.
As the opposition leader finished reading out the resolution, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah rose from his seat and sought Chair’s permission to move an amendment into it. The minister had objection over the sentence: “The Muslims all over Pakistan were in rage and in retaliation mood over the blasphemous content”. The original resolution had also demanded strict action against host of the programme along with the participants, and this was also struck out from it amid protest from the Opposition.
Though Mr Rashid did not object to the addition of another paragraph as suggested by the law minister but he strongly objected to the omission of his words. He accused the Treasury of playing politics over the issue when his version of the resolution was turned down by the majority party.
Lacking numbers in the House, the Opposition was left with no option but to support the amended resolution moved by the law minister who also accused the Opposition of doing politics over the development.
The resolution, as moved by the law minister, sought legal action against Geo News for airing a blasphemous content, but strictly keeping in view “all demands of justice and law”.
“This house condemns the blasphemy of articles of Islam and Ahle Bait committed in ‘Uthho Jaago Pakistan’ programme of Geo Channel,” said the resolution which also called upon Pemra to act in accordance with law. The Pemra has already taken notice of the incident.
It also appealed to ulema from all schools of thought to provide ideological and intellectual guidance to the nation at this moment. This was an addition to the original resolution.
Meanwhile, Punjab Assembly adopted another resolution expressing deep sense of sorrow and grief over the blast and fire in a coalmine in the western area of Turkey. More than 200 workers were killed while several others were injured in the tragic incident. The Punjab Assembly sympathised with Turk government and the bereaved families and also prayed for the departed souls.
The provincial assembly assured Turk brethren that the government and the whole Pakistani nation was standing with them in this hour of trial and fully shared their grief.