LAHORE – Following exchange of harsh words between legislators belonging to the Treasury as well as the Opposition, PML-Q’s female MPA Seemal Kamran did the unusual act of pointing quorum in protest during the Question Hour. This led to the adjournment of the Punjab Assembly proceedings for five minutes on Tuesday.  Though pointing quorum during a Private Members Day is not unlawful, there is no tradition in the recent history of the Punjab Assembly to do so. The Opposition, however, showed smartness and managed to maintain the quorum. That caused the House proceedings to continue till the completion of its agenda for the day. Earlier, the proceedings started an hour and a few minutes behind the schedule.

In the usual absence of the minister, Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Community Development Department Abdul Razzaq Dhilon remained on the receiving end during the Question Hour at the PA floor. The chair, however, rescued the clueless parliamentary secretary on several occasions by suggesting the vocal opposition legislators that he has answered the query or bring fresh question. The situation worsened when forward bloc legislator Sh Allaudin tried to rescue the parliamentary secretary by clarifying government position on the issue of alleged encroachment on UCH land for Liberty Parking Plaza.

On a supplementary question of PPP’s Hassan Murtaza regarding encroachment on UCH land for Liberty Parking Plaza and his suggestion for constitution of a committee to probe the matter, Razzaq Dhilon said that the allegations were baseless. Speaker suggested the legislator to do the right move of bringing an adjournment motion on the issue. On this, Sh Allauddin said that the government has the right to acquire any land and there was no illegality even if it happened. PML-Q’s lady legislators Semmal Kamran and Khadija Umar came hard on the legislator, saying that he no right to speak on behalf of the parliamentary secretary. Seemal Kamran said that the treasury and not the turncoat should clarify position of the government. She said that a turncoat should bridle his tongue.

While calling opposition legislators fake degree holders, Sh Allaudin suggested Seemal Kamran to bridle her tongue. Strongly reacting to the remarks of Sh Allaudin, Seemal Kamran pointed quorum in protest that caused adjournment of the proceedings for five minutes. When the proceedings started after five minutes, the speaker, referring to Seemal Kamran act, said that ‘you have done wrong with the House’. Seemal Kamran said that she had pointed quorum against the improper attitude of Sh Allaudin.

Humaira Awais Shahid said that no one should be allowed to make the House hostage. She said that those having clashes should settle their scores outside the Assembly instead of wasting time of the House. Saeed Akbar Nawani said that though there was no illegality in pointing quorum but there was no tradition of doing this during Question Hour and on private member day. He appealed the assembly members to respect the tradition and avoid doing this in future. He also suggested the Chair to act as custodian of the House instead of becoming a part of the treasury benches.

To a supplementary question of Naveed Anjum that whether the government spent Rs 4.5 million on purchase of software or on one time installation at Liberty Parking Stand, the parliamentary secretary said that a technical expert and not he could answer to this query. To a supplementary question of PPP’s Abdul Rehman regarding misappropriation in use of development funds in Shalimar Town, Abdul Razzaq Dhilon said that that there was no such complaint. To another query, he said all the funds were utiliseed on development projects. Abdul Rehman said that while wrapping up the system the government alleged large scale embezzlement in local bodies’ fund but now it was seeing all well.  To a question, Abdul Razzaq Dhilon said that that there was no complaint of corruption against food inspectors. To a supplementary question of PML-N’s Nighat Nasir Sh regarding goods transport stand near Mochi Gate and resultant traffic mess, Razzaq Dhilon said that presence of warden help ensuring smooth vehicular movement in the area. He stressed that the stand has not encroached land of the garden. Nighat Nasir Sh said that the answer was contradictory to the ground realities. Abdul Rehman and Naveed Anjum stressed that individuals were spoiling the beauty of the City and creating problems for the ordinary men by erecting gates anywhere on will. On insistence of Razzaq Dhilon that it was wrong, speaker asked him to submit a detailed report in the House.