LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly, through a unanimously adopted resolution moved by Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed yesterday, condemned Indian atrocities in Held Kashmir.

The house paid glowing tributes to Commander Sabzar Bhat and 12 other martyrs for keeping the movement initiated by Muzaffar Wani alive. The house hoped the ongoing indigenous freedom movement would soon get success and Kashmiris would be free from illegal occupation. The house made it clear to India that Pakistan would continue moral and political support for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination. The resolution demanded the federal government use all resources to stop Indian atrocities against the innocent people of Held KIashmir, besides raising the issue at international forums, including the UNO and OIC.

Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed demanded the federal government remove JUI Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman as the Kashmir Committee chairman for his failure to raise the issue at international forums. On a point of order, Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed said the Kashmir Committee had completely failed to highlight the issue despite consuming Rs 2 billion annually.

Earlier, the session started with one hour’s delay with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair.

Agriculture Minister Naeem Akhtar Bhaba, Communications and Works Minister Tanveer Aslam Awan and Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Babar Hussain remained on the receiving end during the question hour relating to their respective departments. Legislators from both the sides of the political divide grilled the hapless ministers and parliamentary secretary for their failure to come up with satisfactory answers to their questions. Although the ill-prepared ministers and parliamentary secretary continued getting slips from the officials’ gallery, they failed to satisfy even their colleagues from the treasury benches.

Treasury legislator Mian Tariq Mehmood said solar tube-well and tractor schemes proved false promises. He lamented farmers could not get tractors against their hard-earned money. He said 70 percent of the people of the country were growers. It was a pity that they were living a miserable life, he added.

Taking notice of absence of the agriculture secretary from the officials’ gallery, the chair directed the assembly staff to write a letter to the Punjab chief minister and chief secretary.

Minorities and Human Rights Minister Khalil Tahir Sandhu said there was no intention of placing churches under the government control. He added the churches under illegal occupation would be retrieved at the earliest. He affirmed Christians were freely worshiping at churches across the province. As a legislator pointed out that a public-sector hospital in Multan had not mentioned quota of minorities and disabled in an advertisement for recruitment, the minister promised a fresh advertisement for the vacancies.

On the completion of the agenda, the chair adjourned the session until June 2.