LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly on Thursday witnessed its members playing hide and seek in the House. They would make short appearance in the chamber, but only to complete the quorum and then leave within no time. They would repeat this performance again whenever the lack of quorum is pointed out by the Opposition. During Thursdays Assembly sitting, the treasury members behaved more like a herd of sheep rather than parliamentarians. And why should not they have acted like that. A 'shepherd in the form of Syed Tauqeer Shah, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, had been deputed by his boss to control their movement in the Assembly. He had a list of some 60 to 70 MPAs with him whom he had 'detained in the chief ministers waiting room to be produced whenever the need might arise. Twice he succeeded to persuade them to join their few colleagues sitting in the Assembly when the quorum broke. But he failed to ensure their presence in the House for the third time when lack of quorum was pointed out by the Opposition. This 'hide and seek performance by the parliamentarians continued for well over two hours. It was interesting to watch treasury members rushing to the House through lobbies and then entering the chamber much like the way goats and sheep would move fast in a particular direction when driven by a shepherd. The press gallery witnessed this scene first at 1:35 pm, then at 2:48 pm and at 2:57pm for the third time. Every time the Chair declared that quorum was complete, the legislators would leave the House one by one, thus making the House inquorate in a short while. For most part of the time between 1:45 pm to 2:57 pm, the House proceedings continued with less than three dozen members present. At one point of time, out of total 371 members, only 21 members were present in the chamber, seven from the Treasury and 14 from the Opposition. No body pointed out lack of quorum at that time as the House was taking up call attention notices and adjournment motions, mostly submitted by opposition members. But, when the Speaker announced to take up legislation business, and was half through reading clauses of The Provincial Insolvency (Amendment) Bill, 2011, Mohsin Leghari of the PML-Q did the 'needful. Rana Iqbal ordered ringing of bells, but a few paid heed to the 'disturbing sound. The Speaker adjourned the House till Friday (9 am) when the head count did not match the desired figure (93 out of 371) required for completion of the quorum. In an Assembly, it is responsibility of the Chief Whip to maintain quorum in the House. He is a treasury member assigned with the special task of ensuring members presence in the House, particularly at the time of legislation. But this important role has been assigned to a bureaucrat, who happens to be chief ministers principal secretary. The government was scheduled to get three amendment bills passed from the Assembly on Thursday, but thanks to treasury members disinterest in legislative work, none of these could be adopted. It merits mentioning here that responsibility to maintain quorum lies on the Treasury at the time of legislation and especially when the session has been convened by the government.