LAHORE - The opposition in the Punjab Assembly on Monday staged a strong protest over non-issuance of production orders of Hamza Shehbaz and other detained legislators.

Law Minister Raja Basharat said that it was prerogative of the Speaker to issue production orders of a legislator or decide otherwise.

The session started 75 minutes behind the schedule with Speaker Ch Parvez Elahi in the chair. The opposition legislators used point of order as a tool to stop proceedings as per the given agenda.

PML-N’s Awais Leghari drew attention toward non-issuance of production orders for Leader of the Opposition Hamza Shehbaz and his other colleagues. He said Hamza was not representing only the opposition but also people of his constituency. He said that the move was tantamount to suppressing the voice of the people.

“You took wise step of amending rules relating to issuance of production orders and set good precedence for people to come”, he said while addressing to the chair. He questioned that why Hamza was denied due right of taking part in the assembly proceedings. “Whether his pretense in the House will increase inflation or South Punjab will get status of a province”, he questioned.

PML-N’s Samiullah Khan accused the government of dishonoring own law relating to production orders. He accused the Punjab government of taking dictations from outside. He said that the government has clear instructions of not issuing production orders for Hamza Shehbaz, Salman Rafiq and Sibtain Khan. He accused NAB of doing selective accountability, saying that the chairman had himself admitted that any action against allies of PTI could destabilise the federal government. Remarks on chairman NAB’s alleged recorded video caused uproar in the House. Female treasury legislators stood up and started chanting slogans against the opposition party leadership. Opposition legislators responded with sloganeering that continued for a brief duration.

PPP’s Hassan Murtaza lamented that the government was not sincere in creating conducive atmosphere for showing unity on issues of national importance. He said disallowing any legislators was a big injustice.

The law minister laid the Aab-e-Pak Authority (Amendment) Ordinance 2019 and the Rawalpindi Women University, Rawalpindi ordinance 2019 and introduced the Punjab Workers Welfare Fund Bill 2019.

One of the opposition legislator pointed quorum. As the quorum remained incomplete even after ringing bells for five minutes, the chair adjourned the session till Tuesday (today) at 11:30 am.