LAHORE - Soon after the news concerning the deaths of Minhajul Quran activists at the hands of police hit the House, the Opposition in Punjab Assembly on Tuesday took the Treasury to task for converting the province into an alleged police state and allowing the law enforcers killing spree.
Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah employed a poor bid to cover the brutal killings of Minhaj workers and said, “Nobody will be allowed to establish no-go areas in any part of the province.”
The Punjab Assembly session started with Speaker Rana Iqbal in the chair with a delay of one and half hour turned to take up the debate on annual provincial budget into a jumpy show when the news of Minhajul Quran workers reached the House.
At the start of session, a treasury member on a point of order asked the chair for organising special prayer for the martyrs of the armed forces fighting terror war but the Speaker disapproving his suggestion said that the government was bringing a resolution on this matter. The Opposition staged strong protest as soon as the news of Dr Tahirul Qadri’s followers reached the House, while Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed asked the members of the opposition for staging a walkout; however the majority of the opposition members preferred to protest inside the Assembly and the idea of walkout was not followed by them. Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed on a point of order said that the government in the name of law and order had converted the province into a police state with the aim of silencing its opponents. He said that law enforcers instead of taking care of the sensitive law and order situation in the province killed eight innocent citizens and injured 80 in a direct fire. He said riots have erupted across the province after the killings of the innocent citizens affiliated with Minhajul Quran organisation headed by Dr Tahirul Qadri.
In the absence of the Punjab Law Minister, Provincial Minister Raja Ashfaq Sarwar defending the Treasury said that his government was not denying the facts of the incident regarding Minhaj workers. However the Opposition was not satisfied with Ashfaq’s defence and started chanted slogans against the government and police.
In the meanwhile, the Law Minister who joined the proceedings told the House that the police took action against Minhajul Quran people to remove the barriers. He claimed that they had received some intelligence reports that some suspicious activities were being carried out behind the barriers for which the police was sent to remove the barriers.
Sanaullah taking a poor position to defend the killing spree of the police said that his government would not allow anyone to establish any no-go area in any place in the province. He ensured the House that his government would hold a judicial inquiry of the incident and also take serious action against the accused persons.
Sanaullah justifying the killings of innocent citizens alleged that Tahirul Qadri had no services for democracy in Pakistan and his only agenda was to spread anarchy in the country, which would not be tolerated. He added that the government would launch operation against the elements who wanted to establish no-go areas anywhere in the province.
Confronting Sanaullah, the Opposition Leader on a point of order alleged that the law minister and his government itself was involved to derail democracy in the country as they had done it already in 1999 and then runaway to Jeddah. Mehmood while claiming that top leadership of the ruling party had learnt nothing from their previous experiences and wanted to establish their kingship again, while the incumbent rulers were themselves bent upon derailing the democracy.