LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly on Monday amended Rules of Procedures enabling standing committees to take suo motu action. 

The session was adjourned without further proceedings following rumpus from the Opposition over non-issuance of production orders for Hamza Shehbaz and arrest of PML-N legislator Kh Imran Nazir.

The session started two hours behind the scheduled time with Speaker Ch Parvaiz Elahi in the chair. 

The amended Rules of Procedures will allow chairpersons of the standing committees to take up any business unlike in the past when the Speaker would send it any business (discuss and vet bills, motions, or any other matter). 

They may also invite any expert for their help on the issue under discussion, recommend action against government functionary found guilty of any wrongdoing, while their decisions may not be challenged at any other forum.

These powers were already available to the National Assembly and Senate standing committees. Opposition lawmakers stood up while chanting slogans against Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar. 

The MPAs were also carrying placards inscribed with the anti-government slogans. They staged a sit-in in front of the Speaker’s dais while chanting slogans against the present regime.

‘Atta Choron Ki Sarkar…..Nhi Chlay Gi….Nhi Chlay Gi….Imran Tera Akhri Thikana…Pagal Khana….Pagal Khana…..’ were the slogans chanted by the PML-N MPAs including Azma Bukhari and Tariq Masih Gill. 

The government business couldn’t be taken due to the pandemonium created by the opposition lawmakers. The PML-N MPAs also tore the copies of agenda item during the protest.

PML-N’s Samiullah Khan said that the Prime Minister has said that he will not give the production orders to anyone despite the fact that only the Speaker has an authority to issue these for detained lawmakers. 

He further added that Prime Minister has attacked the Speaker by giving such statement. “The PM doesn’t meet the government allies during his Lahore visits and now he has attacked Ch Pervaiz Elahi while giving such statement about the production orders. 

Our sympathies are with the Speaker,” he said. Neither the democracy nor this House can be run this way, he said.

The chair adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes but the MPAs resorted to sloganeering again after the prayer break.

PML-N’s Sardar Awais Laghari said that the government has beaten the poor farmers instead of providing them relief. “This House should be told that who is responsible for the death of farmer Ishfaq Langrial,” said Laghari, while demanding judicial commission to probe the tragic incident. 

He further added that the government has started arresting the PML-N leaders in the wake of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) jalsa scheduled in Lahore on 13th December. “Why MPA Kh Imran Nazir was arrested ahead of the PDM jalsa in Lahore,” he asked. 

Kh Imran Nazir, who is also PML-N Lahore’s General Secretary, was arrested by the police few days ago. The police also launched FIR against PML-N leaders, who staged sit-in outside the police station where Nazir was taken. 

The FIR was launched against Azma Bukhari, Samiullah Khan, Ghazali Butt, PML-N Deputy Secretary General Atta ullah Tarar and former minister Saira Afzal Tarar.

The Speaker later adjourned the session to meet again today (Tuesday) afternoon.