LAHORE: Anti-Asif Zardari remarks from PML-N legislators once again put the Punjab Assembly proceedings to a halt and invoked severe retaliation from the PPP members who interrupted the business while pointing out quorum in the post budget session.
The acting PA Speaker, Mehr Ishtiaq, who remained unable to put the House in order a day ago amid same situation once again failed to continue the proceedings and had to adjourn the session after PPP Deputy Parliamentary leader Shaukat Mehmood Basra pointed out quorum and staged a walk out along with the other opposition members.
The Punjab Assembly proceedings were going on smoothly since beginning of the session until Abdul Razzaq Dhillon, the PML-N MPA from Sargohda, was given the floor to deliver his budget speech. At the very beginning of his speech, he used the word ‘Madari’ (juggler) for President Zardari on which the PPP members stood up on their seats and demanded apology from him.
The session was being chaired by Mehr Ishtiaq, a member of panel of Chairmen, but he once again proved a silent spectator and could neither stop his own party man from continuing the speech nor the opposition MPAs’ tirade against Sharif brothers. Ultimately, the House was in uproar. The PPP MPAs, including Tahir Mehmood Hundali, Shaukat Basra, Sajida Mir, Hassan Murtaz and Amir Dogar, kept passing remarks against the PML-N MPA and asked the chair to stop him from using objectionable language but to no avail.
The other PML-N MPAs on the occasion started chanting slogans of ‘Go Zardari Go’. Resultantly, PPP members responded with slogan of ‘Puri Qaum Ka Ek He Naara, Jaddah Bhaagay Sher Dobara.’
However, the acting Speaker was unable to maintain order in the House after which Shaukat Basra pointed out the quorum, despite the unanimous decisions of the Business Advisory Committee that quorum would not be pointed out during the post-budget session.
After quorum was pointed out, PPP MPAs hurriedly walked out of the assembly. The chair had to adjourn the proceedings for half an hour but the session could not restart.
This is noteworthy that almost similar situation occurred a day ago in the PA following the remarks of a PML-N MPA Ali Asgher Munda against PPP leadership which resulted in exchange of hostile remarks between members of both sides.
Earlier, legislators from different parties participated in the budget discussion and gave their respective suggestions, with Speaker Rana Mohammed Iqbal Khan in the chair.
PML-N MPA Ahsen Raza Khan’s speech provoked laughter in the House when when he praised the Punjab chief minister for turning district Kasur into Europe but also demanded the Punjab government take more steps, like setting up of bridge and constructing colleges in the district.
The MPA also made himself a laughing stock when he unnecessarily started clarifying that acts of his leader Shahbaz Sharif were not a ‘drama’, as alleged by the opposition. The chief minister, he added, was serving the province in the best way.
To the remarks, Tahir Mehmood Hundali, a PPP MPA, stated that none of the opposition members had termed the acts of the CM a drama and he himself was using this term.
Finding no answer to the PPP MPA’s point, the PML-N MPA who was supposed to deliver the speech on budget started praising his leadership over the restoration of judges and kept praising the lawyers for their movement. At last, the Speaker asked him to speak to the point. Hearing this, the MPA had to conclude the speech.
Humaira Awais Shahid, a PML-Q legislator, in her post budget speech demanded farmers-friendly steps and demanded the provincial government to be ware of the threat of food scarcity. She also said that Pakistan had become the sixth most populated country of the world and we must pay proper attention towards population control. Voicing concern over the violence against women in Punjab, she said that proper measures need to be taken to address the issue.
In his post budget speech, Amir Dogar, a PPP MPA from Multan, lamented over the deplorable state of the province under the PML-N rule. He said law and order situation was poor in all parts of the province, including southern Punjab.