LAHORE - The Opposition in Punjab Assembly on Monday lodged protest with Speaker Rana Iqbal for non-inclusion of its resolution on south Punjab into Assembly’s agenda for subsequent discussion in the House. The resolution comprises a demand from the Assembly urging upon the federal government to start the legal process to make south Punjab a separate province.

Speaking on a point of order, PPP’s Deputy Parliamentary Leader, Shaukat Mahmood Basra reminded the Chair that Opposition had submitted a resolution in Assembly secretariat on October 20 bearing signatures of 150 members urging the federal government to take legal steps necessary to make south Punjab a separate province. He also said that Opposition had done so after PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif’s statement supporting a separate province for south Punjab.

He pleaded before the Speaker that the resolution should be taken up by the House on Private Members’ Day. Basra also complained that the same was not being included in the weekly draw held every Friday to pick up resolutions on public interest to be taken up by the House on Private Members’ Day. He further said that after Mian Nawaz Sharif’s statement supporting a new province for south Punjab, the Treasury should have no objection to Opposition’s resolution on the subject.

 “We have been told by the Assembly staff that the resolution is lying on law minister’s table awaiting his approval”, he told the Speaker.

Mohsin Leghari of PML-Q also raised the same issue and asked the Chair to decide the matter forthwith. “We should be told in clear terms whether or not the House is taking up the resolution”, he asserted. 

The Speaker assured the agitating members that the issue would be resolved soon. He also asked them to meet him in his chamber to sort out the matter.  Talking to TheNation on Monday evening, Shaukat Mahmood Basra said that he along with other opposition members went to see the Punjab Assembly Speaker in his chamber, but no decision could be taken on the resolution because of law minister’s absence from the meeting.