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June 14, 2019

Hamza attends PA session after production order issued

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June 14, 2019

LAHORE: Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz on Thursday attended the PA session after his production order was issued by Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.

“I am grateful to the speaker Punjab Assembly for issuing the production order and this house deserves credit for this” said Hamza Shahbaz while speaking on the floor of the Punjab Assembly for the first time after he was arrested by the NAB.

The PA session earlier began with a delay of nearly two hours with Speaker Pervaiz Elahi in the chair and it also held a question hour session related to the Transport Department. After the question hour session concluded, Hamza entered the assembly premises amid mixed

slogans of ‘Sher Aya, Sher Aya’ and ‘Chor, Chor,’ chanted by the opposition and the treasury simultaneously.

Addressing the house, the opposition leader said the wise thing was not to repeat past mistakes and “we all must learn from them”. Recalling his captivity days in the mid-90s when he spent several months in prison along with Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Hamza said those were his college days when he faced imprisonment. Later, he said he was not allowed to see his mother for nearly a decade and stated he still remembered the time when he was alone here in Pakistan at the time of the death of his grandfather.

Hamza stated that in assemblies, blame games continued and allegations were leveled against each other but it was the time “we all started to learn from past experiences”. He said he himself had been accused of corruption and expressed the resolve to quit politics if a single penny through corrupt practices was proven against him.

Criticizing the PTI government, he said he was upset to see the current situation of the country where people were combating so many challenges under the present rule. He said inflation had increased manifold whereas subsidies had been withdrawn from the textile sector whereas agriculture was on the brink of destruction. He said an IMF employee had been made governor of the State Bank and predicted that more testing times were coming ahead for the Pakistani nation.

After the speech of Hamza, Law Minister Basharat Raja said the speaker Punjab Assembly deserved the credit for issuing the production order of Hamza. He said it was strange that the opposition members were congratulating Hamza whereas in reality it was the credit of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi who restored the dignity of the house by issuing the production order.

“This is your credit, credit goes to Imran Khan, Usman Buzdar for this production order. Where was the democracy in last 10 years when Moonis Elahi’s Production Order wasn’t issued by them” he said and added ‘what goes around comes around’. In the past, Chaudhry Moonis Elahi was behind the bars and despite repeated requests, the PML-N government didn’t issue his Production Order.

He said Shahbaz Sharif had multiple camp offices in his time whose expenditures were borne by the government and it was strange that he was talking about the economic meltdown in the country. Raja urged Hamza to explain as to why a province with a Rs 100 billion surplus turned into a land facing a debt of Rs 2600b.

The law minister said the PML-N leadership had to clear itself from the NAB and answer the queries related to the corruption in its tenure and the government would congratulate them once they were proven not guilty. He said the government had no link with the NAB and it was the PPP and the PML-N which used this body against each other. Raja Basharat said none of the PML-N members could raise doubts on the credibility of the chair.

Pervaiz Elahi said: “We all had the credit of carrying out a step that was of collective benefit.” He thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for hailing the legislation by the PA and Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar for his cooperation. The house was later adjourned till Friday.

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