LAHORE -  Though funny things keep happening at the Punjab Assembly floor, yesterday’s sitting will be remembered more for its funny business than anything else.

No official business was carried out on the first day of 29th session. Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal mostly seen in a somber mood was in a funny mood yesterday.

For the Speaker, if the number of Chawkidars (guards) at an educational institute is far higher than the teaching staff, it could be due to larger size of its building and the greater number of gates it has.

In the written answer detailing the number of different categories of staff posted at Government Post-graduate College for Boys in Vehari, the Assembly was told that there were 18 Chowkidars working at the Vehari College as against eight posts of Lecturer Assistants. 

An independent member of the House, Ahsan Riaz Fatyana asked the reason for this disparity in a supplementary question. “If you ask me, it could be due to larger size of the building or the greater number of gates it has”, the Speaker told Fatyana before the Parliamentary Secretary Mehwish Sultana could answer the question. When the Speaker eventually gave her the floor for the official version, she insisted it was actually a typo as the number of Chowkidars at this institute did not exceed the number of three.

Another funny thing which happened at the Assembly floor yesterday was really something hard to fathom. It was hilarious to see the Parliamentary Secretary requesting the mover to hand her over the written copy of an official notification which she was supposed to keep with herself.

“Please, hand me over my copy of the answer first and then I would answer your question”, Mehwish Sultana asked Ahsan Riaz Fatyana who is also known in the Assembly for pointing out quorum in the House.

But the naughty Fatyana did not oblige her despite repeated requests. Though the gentle lady later got a copy of the document provided to her by the Assembly staff, it remained a mystery how the legislator from Kamalia managed to grab it from her official file. 

As she was still unable to come up with a satisfactory answer, the Speaker decided to keep the question pending for some other day.

Fatyana protested over Chair’s decision stating it was an urgent matter needing urgent attention of the House. But the Speaker would not listen to him.

In the meantime, Leader of the Opposition, Mehmoodur Rashid interrupted to settle the issue.

He asked the Speaker to let the Parliamentary Secretary to answer the question instead of giving a snub to the honorable member. “Okay, I keep the question pending till Monday next to honour the Opposition leader”, he said giving the impression as if Rashid had asked for the same.

Earlier, when the Speaker called out the name of Shamila Aslam of the PML-N to take up her question on the list of Friday’s agenda, Saqib Khurshid, also belonging to the ruling party, rose up to ask a supplementary question after he found the mover absent from the House. “Are you the one (Shamila Aslam)?”, the Speaker asked only to create fun. “No sir, I am speaking on her behalf”, Khurshid replied.

Also, the Opposition and the Treasury on Friday defeated each other by successfully blocking each other’s resolutions against the ICJ’s decision on Indian spy Kalbhushan Jadav. Since neither of the two succeeded in their moves, it made it a rare happening in the Punjab Assembly.