In-house change: PML-N has opened doors, windows, says Hamza

January 24, 2020

LAHORE: The opposition benches during Thursday’s Punjab Assembly session lacerated the government for going into a denial mode over the ongoing wheat crisis in Punjab and demanded an inquiry...

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LAHORE: The opposition benches during Thursday’s Punjab Assembly session lacerated the government for going into a denial mode over the ongoing wheat crisis in Punjab and demanded an inquiry to fix responsibility for multiplying hardships of people.

Besides, the treasury and opposition benches traded barbs over the issue of Kashmir during the session convened on the requisition of the opposition. PPP MPA Hasan Murtaza announced a hunger strike till death in solidarity with people who are being forced to sleep hungry in the province.

Earlier, Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz said the PTI government is following a self-contradictory approach, saying that on the one hand, the Punjab government denied the wheat crisis while the federal government is going to import 300,000 tons of wheat. Therefore, he said the Punjab government must come out of a denial mode in the face of paucity of wheat and resolve the issue. “An impartial inquiry must be conducted to fix responsibility and award punishment to the culprits,” he said while warning that snatching bread from the throat of people will not just finish everyone’s politics but also inflict irreparable damage to the solidarity of the country. “One crisis after the other is coming to haunt people,” he said, adding that after tomatoes and wheat, the sugar crisis is rearing its head. He said the artificial shortage of essential items and limited availability of food items like flour, tomatoes, onions, vegetables, pulses and sugar at dearer rates are making lives of people miserable.

He also took a dig at the prime minister for accusing the preceding governments of committing corruption while the Transparency International’s report simultaneously revealed that corruption has increased in the current tenure of Imran Khan’s government. He said the PML-N government had improved Pakistan’s status by bringing the rank down from 137 to 117 on the list of most corrupt countries in the world, which has now again gone three points up to 120.

He said Pakistan must strengthen its economic status to add weight to its voice at the international level. “Prime Minister Imran Khan has himself admitted that the world community has not done enough to alleviate the sufferings of Kashmiris by forcing India to lift a prolonged curfew of 170 days in Kashmir,” he said while maintaining that beggars can’t be choosers.

He also praised Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi for launching a landmark project of Rescue 1122 during his government, which the PML-N government expanded all over Punjab. “Actions speak louder than words,” he said, adding that people remember welfare works which need not be publicized for recognition. Similarly, he said that PML-N established Forensic Lab which helped apprehending the real culprit behind Zainab case of Kasur, saying that the welfare projects helped governments gain support of people without any advertisements.

In view of talks about an in-house change, he said the PML-N has opened its doors and windows.

Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat said Imran Khan emerged as a global leader after he forcefully raised the issue of Kashmir in the United Nations General Assembly and before American President Donald Trump in Washington and now in Davos. However, he criticized former prime minister Nawaz Sharif without taking his name for inviting Narendra Modi to his family functions.

He condemned the opposition for criticizing the PTI government on the issue of Kashmir, saying that the people of Kashmir believed that they had a great supporter in the form of Imran Khan who has been contesting their case at every global forum effectively. “If anyone criticizes Imran Khan, it’s a great injustice to the oppressed people of Kashmir,” he added. Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Parvaiz Elahi has warned provincial ministers to either vacate MPAs’ hostel rooms they are illegally occupying or face humiliation through eviction. Chairing the assembly session on Thursday, he asked the ministers to immediately vacate MPAs’ hostel as they all have been allotted official residences.

He said though he didn’t want to create a conflict for getting the rooms vacated, he would first put names of the room-grabbers on their respective tables and then publicly name them and as last resort would park trucks outside these rooms, load their luggage on to the vehicles to forcibly evict them from the hostel.

He said there’s shortage of rooms particularly for women members as not a single room has been added to the MPAs residential facility during the last 10 years. Now, a new block of 150 rooms is being constructed to accommodate more legislators when they come to attend the assembly session and or meetings of standing committees.

Newly-elected PML-N MPA Ramesh Singh Arora from Narowal took oath of his membership. He has been nominated by the PML-N against the reserved seat fallen vacant due to the demise of Muneer Masih.

Thanking former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for nominating him for second time to become MPA, he lauded Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa for taking personal interest in opening the Kartarpur Corridor. Arora won world fame by getting enacted a law for registration of Sikh marriages, for the first time in any country across the globe. He condemned the controversial Indian citizenship law, saying that it rendered minorities insecure in India.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Assembly Press Gallery observed a token boycott of proceedings against highhandedness of traffic police in humiliating journalists while expressing solidarity with Lahore Press Club President Arshad Ansari for raising the issue. On the instructions of the speaker, Punjab Information Minister Fayyaz-ul-Hasan Chohan along with Chaudhry Zaheeruddin and Rana Muhammad Iqbal assured to resolve the matter according to the wishes of journalists on Friday (today).

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