LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly witnessed a rare scene on Tuesday when quorum was pointed out on private members day, causing adjournment of the session before even a single resolution of public interest was taken up.

Though quorum has been pointed out on private members day in the past, still it is quite unusual as agenda include resolutions from legislators on both sides of the political divide.

During question hour on Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department, Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has rare lean day as she remained on the receiving end due to lack of preparedness. She admitted severe shortage of doctors in different specialties despite sending 12 requisitions to Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) for recruitment.

The session started one hour and 40 minutes behind the scheduled time with deputy speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari in the chair.

Not a single resolution of public interest taken up

Dr Yasmin Rashid continued receiving chits from the officials’ gallery and putting the same in her pocket after reading in the House. She also had no information about the increased fee for CT Scan being charged by the vendors at the Sialkot hospital. She later offered apology for being ignorant about the raising of CT scan fee from Rs1500 to Rs2500 by the private vendor.

While admitting lack of interest on the part of doctors in government job, Dr Yasmin said that no one responded to the advertisements of PPSC regarding recruitment of surgeons in pediatric, cardiac and general categories. She asked the opposition members to bring her qualified and experienced doctors so that she could appoint the on the vacant posts.

Like the last day, Leader of the Opposition Hamza Shahbaz and ex-Health minister Khawaja Salman Rafiq received rousing welcome on their entry in the House.

On a point of order, PPP’s Hassan Murtaza accused the government of mistreating Sindh province with extreme political prejudice multiplying its sense of deprivation. He said NAB cases of Sindh leaders were shifted to Punjab on the plea that provincial government would influence prosecution. He asked if Punjab government could not influence cases being tried in its territory. Without naming ex-President Asif Zardari, he said a seriously ill leader from Sindh was being subjected to biased treatment in jails of Punjab but he had never sought relief or bails. He lamented that country had different laws for elite, bureaucrats, capitalists, etc. but the poor had to die for proving their illness. He said PPP members had sought several permissions for meeting with Asif Zardari but were not allowed, even after an application was sent through Law Minister Raja Basharat. He said the PM seemed to be so obsessed with the mere idea of not giving NRO that he was still boasting that he would not give NRO and would not leave any of the plunderer, despite that Nawaz Sharif had flown on court orders. He said it seemed that PM was working under some chip fitted in his brain which was still entangled with the same bragging without taking account of the fresh realities.

PML-N’s Khalil Tahir Sandhu said that denying Rana Sanaullah access to media whenever he comes to the court was big injustice. “He (Rana Sanaullah) is an accused and not a convict”, he said. Addressing Law Minister Raja Basharat, he said “it could even happen to you people”.

As the chair ruled taking up resolutions on the agenda, PML-N’s Sadia Taimur pointed quorum. As the quorum remained incomplete even after ringing bells for five minutes, the chair adjourned the session till Wednesday (today) at 3pm.

Out of 10 resolutions on the agenda, not a single could be taken up.