LAHORE – The Punjab Assembly’s 33rd session on Monday again witnessed lack of interest of public representatives in issues relating to the masses, as PPP leader Shaukat Basra and Law Minister Rana Sana kept the House engaged in the ‘party war’ instead of taking up a serious debate on the issue of spurious PIC drugs.

The session could not continue due to the walkout of the Opposition followed by the boycott over the remarks of the Rana Sana Ullah against Basra, while both sides of the political divide demanded apology from each other on their remarks, however no side was ready to take the lead for an apology.

Despite the postponement of the session twice for 10 minutes by Deputy Speaker, Rana Mashhud Ahmed in a bid to bring the Opposition members back in the House, the session was adjourned till Tuesday. The hot debate started in the House when PPP deputy parliamentary leader, Shaukat Basra on a point of order called Chief Minister Punjab ‘Qatil-e-Ala’ over the issue of deaths of heart patients due to the spurious drugs of the PIC.

Punjab law minister, Rana Sana Ullah defending his party leader called Basra a shameless person ‘Besharam and Behayaa’ by saying that Basra has received 15 thousand US dollars for the treatment of his son abroad by getting relaxation in rules from the Chief Minister and the PPP leader should think before speaking against a person who happened to be his benefactor during his difficult time. Basra alleged that the number of people who died in road accidents was lesser than the people who died of dengue and fake medicines due to the negligence of Punjab government. He maintained that Punjab government was in the habit of constituting a commission on every issue but it had never made public its reports.

PPP leader accused that the district coordination officers after receiving commission from pharmaceutical companies, forcibly take signature from the Medical Superintendents to purchase the medicines. He while claiming that the provincial government had made doctors a scapegoat through removing them from their offices alleged that the real culprit Chief Minister who was holding charge of Health Ministry was still holding his office.  Rana Sana in response claimed that the doctors were suspended in accordance with the laid down procedure. He maintained that the Medical Superintendent of PIC came to the knowledge of the reaction of medicines on the 11th of this month but he tried to hush down the matter instead of making it public. Likewise, he claimed that the Secretary Health was apprised about fake medicine issue on 13th of this month and he also avoided keeping the matter in the knowledge of the Chief Minister. Basra, meanwhile alleged that the Chief Minister who was in fact Chief Murderer should have to come to House to explain his position.

Responding to the allegations of Basra, Rana Sana said that he was in fact a shameless person who was calling the Chief Minister as Chief Murderer who in relaxation of rules had given him 15 thousand US dollars (Rs 13 lakh) for the medical treatment from his son abroad. The remarks from the law minister created uproar in the House and members from across the divide started using abusive language. The PPP members were of the view that Rana had made political issue as personal and gone down to the dignity level. They demanded the Law Minister to seek apology otherwise they would not participate in the proceedings.

Sana Ullah said that he was not saying anything merely on the basis of assumption but it was a fact that Chief Minister had relaxed rules for Basra.

He refuted the impression that it was the prerogative of the members to get medical treatment and claimed that it was just a discretionary power of the Chief Minister.

Nazim Hussain Shah from PPP claimed that there was no justification of holding 23 ministries on part of the Chief Minister. Deputy Speaker adjourned the proceedings twice but members could not be reconciled and finally he Speaker adjourned the proceedings till today.