LAHORE - As the Punjab Assembly resumes its session on Monday (today) after a two-day break, the opposition has accepted government’s offer for negotiations to resolve the conflict over temporary expulsion of six PML-N lawmakers from the assembly.

Speaker Parvez Elahi had on Tuesday last banned the entry of six opposition members for the current budget session holding them responsible for the rumpus created in the house during finance minister’s budget speech.

Punjab Minister for Information and Culture Fayyazul Hassan Chohan on Sunday invited Opposition Leader Hamza Shehbaz and his party members to come and attend the business advisory committee meeting on Monday (today). He also asked him to meet Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Parvez Elahi for smooth conduct of assembly business.

An outspoken PML-N legislator Azma Zahid Bokhari told The Nation that opposition will send its representative to attend the business advisory committee meeting and to take part in negotiations with the treasury side. She said Hamza Shehbaz will neither meet the speaker nor attend the business advisory committee meeting today.  Azma also welcomed resolution of the issue through a house committee as proposed by the government provided it had equal representation from the two sides.

She, however, made it clear that opposition will continue boycott of the assembly session as long as the incriminated members are not allowed to enter the house.

First round of talks between the opposition and the treasury which took place on Friday last ended without any income. 

Punjab Assembly will resume its session on Monday at 2 pm today after a two-day break. Today’s sitting is meant for house debate on the new budgetary proposals.

Also, in a statement, Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan urged the opposition members to observe the sanctity of the house and fulfill their duties towards the house.

The minister said that it was obligatory for both the government and the opposition to keep the house peaceful and harmonious.

Chohan said both government and the opposition will have to go side by side for the betterment of their voters. “Opposition under the leadership of Hamza must not prove its relations with dictators and dictatorship by boycotting the assembly sessions,” he maintained.

Separately, while commenting on metro buses and Orange Line Train, the minister said these buses were running empty on the roads of Multan. “These are indeed white elephants and have become a burden on the economy of the province. These projects have nothing to do with the wellbeing of the people,” Chohan observed, adding that previous government had initiated these projects merely to get commissions and for the sake of personal publicity.