LAHORE       -        The Punjab Assembly on Monday consumed much of its time debating an “out of turn” resolution, which was eventually passed with a majority vote despite objections raised by the Opposition. 

It was about renaming the DG Khan Institute of Cardiology after Fateh Muhammad Buzdar, father of the incumbent chief minister.

Speaking on behalf of the Opposition, Azma Zahid Bukhari of the PML-N pointed out stark contradiction in the PTI’s stance on such issues. She maintained that PTI had been opposing naming of institutes in the past after individual politicians on the plea that they are built with public money. She questioned this visible change in PTI’s position after coming into power. She suggested naming the institute after any local leader from DG Khan City instead of someone from chief minister’s constituency. 

Law Minister Raja Basharat rejected Opposition’s objections saying they were invalid since the institute was yet to be built. “The objection would have been valid if a built institution was being renamed”, he argued, adding that Chief Minister was serving Punjab while his father had also served this province in different capacities.

Speaker Pervaiz Elahi also put his weight behind the Treasury on this issue. He mentioned how the previous government of the PML-N had renamed all his development works after the Sharifs.

Also, the Punjab Assembly passed a unanimous resolution condemning a blasphemous incident in Norway. The resolution demanded of the federal government to take up the matter with other countries also besides Norwegian government to stop such acts in future.

The Treasury also rushed through four bills amid Opposition’s boycott of Assembly proceedings. Sami Ullah Khan of the PML-N alleged that Treasury was bulldozing the legislation on the basis of its numerical strength in violation of the due process and parliamentary traditions. He said since the Opposition had quit all the standing committees [on the issue of Chairmanship of the Public Accounts Committee], the Treasury could do the same at the committee level.

Law Minister, on the other hand, accused the Opposition of its non-cooperation on the issue of legislation. He said the Opposition should have contributed in the legislative process instead of creating hurdles.

However, the Assembly passed the following four bills after the Opposition walked out of the Assembly. They included: Punjab public private partnership bill 2019, University of Mianwali bill 2019, Punjab Animal Health bill 2019 and Fort Munroe Development Authority (Amendment) bill.