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Monday June 17, 2024

PA session adjourned over quorum

By Moayyed Jafri
May 04, 2018

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly session after starting more than one-and-a-half-hour late could not go beyond the question hour as lack of interest of the PML-N parliamentarians continued to mar the prevailing session for the fifth straight day.

The day’s agenda included question-answer session and discussion on Agricultural and Bait-ul-Maal Departments. However, Agriculture Minister Muhammad Naeem Akhtar did not show up at the assembly because of which the questions pertaining to the department were postponed by Speaker Rana Maqbool on the request of the members.

The questions regarding Bait-ul-Maal Department were answered by Mister Ch Shair Ali. Meanwhile, the speaker and PTI’s Asif Mahmood were involved in a heated exchange after the latter requested for permission to register his dissent against the behaviour of Punjab assembly secretary, but he was not given permission by the speaker.

Asif protested if the members were not even allowed to speak about the assembly staff, how one could think of criticising or holding bureaucracy accountable for their deeds.

The speaker told Asif that the assembly staff members were also human and they need to be treated with respect and regard. He continued to request Asif Mahmood to take his seat, but he continued to speak despite his microphone was switched off. PTI’s Mian Aslam Iqbal calmed down Asif after which the speaker told Asif Mahmood and Aslam Iqbal to discuss the matter in the speaker’s chamber later.

Opposition leader Mian Mahmood-ur-Rasheed while speaking on a point of order said Deputy Director of Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR) Abid Noor is acting like a Don at the DGPR and had suspended about 20 employees at his whims and fancy. He said when these workers protested his action, he had beaten them and several of them suffered head injuries. Mahmood said now an FIR had been registered against this deputy director, adding suspended employees should be restored at the earliest.

Punjab Minister Tahir Khalil Sandhu assured him that the matter would be investigated and addressed. PTI member Asif Mahmood pointed out the house quorum which was found short and despite the usual practice of bell-ringing it could not be completed after which the session was adjourned till Friday 9am.

Meanwhile, PTI’s Dr Nosheen Hamid submitted a resolution at the Punjab Assembly requesting the government to explain the reason for unscheduled loadshedding and to fulfill its promise to end loadshedding. She maintained that the government claims at multiple forums that it had ended power crisis, while the country is facing loadshedding.

PML-N MPA Hina Pervez Butt submitted a resolution paying tributes to those who laid their lives for freedom of expression on International Journalists Day. In the resolution she said 69 journalists laid their lives on duty during the current year and the world needs to implement tougher protocols to ensure safety and wellbeing of journalists all across the globe.