LAHORE The Punjab government seemed to have withdrawn itself from previous stance of not budging even an inch on the water issue with Sindh, as Senior Minister Raja Riaz Ahmed Monday told the Punjab Assembly that Chashma-Jhelum Link Canal had not been closed, though its water has been cut from 5,000 cusecs to 3,000 cusecs, which had been given to Sindh, and would be withdrawn when the Punjab would need it. While responding to points of order of Opposition Leader Ch Zaheer-ud-Din and Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, Raja Riaz said the government had the credit of resolving the serious water problem, and the Prime Minister had called chief ministers of all the provinces. However, Punjab CM asked the PM that Punjab and Sindh would mutually sort out the issue. For this, a delegation visited Sindh and thoroughly convinced its leadership by effectively eliminating its misgivings about Punjabs water share. Now, an experts delegation from Sindh is visiting Punjab to resolve the CJLC matter in an amicable manner, he said, while saying that the PPP was the symbol of federation and promoting harmony among the provinces on all issues, including the water distribution mechanism. Raja Riaz criticised the PML-Q Opposition asserting it, during its 8-year long regime, could not resolve national issues, including the water and the National Finance Commission Award, and the Raja took the credit for getting it done by his government. However, the Opposition strongly protested against what it termed Punjab governments voluntary surrender of its water share from the CJLC to Sindh. This led to exchange of hot words between Raja Riaz and the Opposition, when the former went to the extent of labelling Oppositions Mohsin Leghari 'a traitor, uproar ensued in the House provoking the Opposition benches to walkout, ultimately leading to the reality that the important water issue debate remained inconclusive. Perhaps Raja Riaz deemed it a better way of dislodging opponents since they had been trying hard to make the provincial government realise importance of water issue for farmers, were pained at 2,000 cusecs water cut in the CJLC and Senior Ministers adverse remarks, which he withdrew later in the absence of the Opposition. This all started when Mohsin Leghari drew Speakers attention towards media reports that the Punjab government had voluntarily allowed reduction of water flow in the CJLC, and wanted a 'proper debate on the issue. Leghari rejected Rajas explanation, and averred that the government had a record of surrendering before Sindh, since it had already surrendered 2.4 per cent of its share in the NFC Award and now had conceded water from the Canal vital for southern Punjab. Other Opposition members asserted that Raja had compromised the water settlement. They repeatedly demanded reasons for surrendering the water share. Raja Riaz assured the House that his government would seek prior approval of all decisions made during the meeting about water. Seeing unsettling Opposition, he got infuriated and uttered, 'Your Leghari is a traitor of the country, which brought the debate to an immediate halt and the Opposition went berserk, and staged walkout. Earlier, Raja Riaz asserted that it was very unfortunate that provincial government had registered a case against three PPP MPAs Sajida Mir, Azma Zahid Bokhari and Faiza Malik, and 200 other workers for staging a protest demonstration a few days back. Democracy allows the peoples expression of freedom, which is the beauty of a democratic system, he said, adding that PPP protesters did not create any law and order situation. The PPP rendered supreme sacrifices for the restoration of democracy and it gives due respect to all the institutions, including the Supreme Court, he maintained. PPP Sajida Mir threatened of committing self-immolation outside the Punjab Assembly, if government did not withdraw the case. Ch Zaheer condemned the registration of case against the PPP MPAs. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah also told the House that services of contract pera-medical staff of the hospitals would soon be regularised under the Punjab Rural Support Programme. He was responding to an adjournment motion by the Opposition. The House referred Opposition MPA Dr. Faiza Asghars privilege motion to the relevant committee. Minority members Pervez Rafique and Tahir Khalil Sindhu and other MPAs spoke about imposition of a ban on drinking and business of alcoholic drinks.