LAHORE - The reported curtailment of Punjab share of water and giving it to Sindh province sparked strong reaction in Punjab Assembly on Thursday, where legislators excluding those of PPP, resented the decision by delivering fiery speeches. Majority of members were furious over the development and resented the reported decision made in a high level meeting chaired by President Zardari the other day of reducing water flows from Taunsa and Panjnad for Punjab and halting water storage at Tarbella in order to overcome water shortage in Sindh. Though, the Irrigation Minister Raja Riaz, who belongs to PPP, assured the House that Punjab had not been deprived of its due share of water, the legislators clung to the demand of moving a resolution in the House to lodge protest with the federal government. The minister insisted that not even one percent of Punjab water was being given to any province. He pledged on floor of the House that he would resign as irrigation minister, if what he was saying turned out to be untrue later on. He said there was no need to bring any resolution in the House in this regard. Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly, Ch Zaheeruddin wanted the resolution to be passed by the assembly in any case despite assurance by the irrigation minister. The Treasury was visibly divided on the issue, as assembly saw members from PML-N and PML-Q joining hands against PPP lawmakers, who had to do a lot of explaining over it after the combined onslaught by the two leagues. Senior Advisor to Punjab CM, Zulfiqar Khosa, however, managed to control the situation, when he told the House that he had just received a written message from Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif that Government would come up with its response over the issue on Friday (today) after consulting the federal government. He said Punjab CM has also called an emergency meeting in the evening to ponder the situation and to resolve the conflict. This helped blocking of assembly resolution for at least one day; because, if it had been passed, as desired by the Opposition, it would not only have caused much embarrassment to the PPP, but also have put the future of coalition government in Punjab at a stake. It was Mian Muhammad Shafi of PML-Q, who raised the issue on assembly floor on a point of order, citing the decision of a high level meeting chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi the other day. Another opposition member Mohsin Khan Leghari supported him. He said it would be highly unfair to deprive Punjab of its due share of water as the province was already facing acute water shortage. Opposition leader Ch Zaheeruddin said that decisions regarding Punjabs water share should be made in Punjab. He said Punjab Government should take this issue very seriously before it was too late. He feared wide spread agitation in Punjab if the decision was not reverted. He also opposed halting of water storage at Tarbella, saying that it would affect generation of electricity. Zaheer said he was astonished to see President Zardari, who was now on a visit to Pakistan, taking such decisions oblivious of their consequences. A PML-N legislator Waris Kallu diverted Houses attention towards another dimension of the issue in question, saying that Punjab had nothing to do with the subject matter, as IRSA was the right forum to settle water disputes among provinces. He, however, supported other MPAs on the issue. Kallo spoke in favour of Kalabagh Dam, while asserting that no one would be allowed to deprive Punjab of its due share of water. Taking part in the debate, Senior Advisor to Punjab government Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa challenged President Zardaris authority to make such unilateral decisions. He called for convening of an emergency meeting of the federal cabinet to discuss the situation. He also asked Punjab Minister for Irrigation to take up the issue with Prime Minister. Responding to the concern shown by legislators, Raja Riaz told the House that President Zardari had directed IRSA authorities to ensure implementation of 1991 water accord, regarding distribution of water among the provinces, besides giving Sindh its share of water from Mangla Dam. The President had also directed IRSA not to store extra water at Tarbela till the water situation in Sindh gets improved, he added. Raja asked the chair to fix a day to hold debate on the issue. Ch Javed reminded irrigation minister that according to the Water Accord of 1991, Punjab had exclusive rights over water of Mangla Dam. As the issue was being hotly debated among the lawmakers, Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan intervened to add more fuel to the fire by saying, We all should get united to avert an dacoity on the rights of Punjab. He also asked Raja Riaz to join hands with other legislators since he was also a Punjabi. He also asked irrigation minister to collect details from federal government about the decision. The use of word dacoity by the Speaker irked displeasure of Raja Riaz, who lodge protest with Rana Iqbal over it. Raja told the Speaker that like him, he was also a Punjabi and if he (Speaker) was a Rana, then he was also a Rana. The Speaker later apologised to Raja Riaz over use of the word dacoity.