Point scoring, personality clashes abound in Punjab Assembly | Pakistan Today

Point scoring, personality clashes abound in Punjab Assembly

– Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Labour Minister Ashraf Sohna swap allegations of point scoring, humiliating assembly members
LAHORE
Personality clashes and the point scoring resulted in heated arguments between lawmakers from the treasury and opposition benches in the Punjab Assembly’s session on Friday.
The first brawl erupted when Dr Samia of the PML-Q expressed dissatisfaction over the governments’ reply to non-payment of Rs 31 billion to government contractors.
Supporting the government’s stance, PML-Q Likeminded leader Sheikh Alauddin tried to clarify the Punjab government’s position on the issue, pointing out legal flaws in the matter.
Upon his interference, Dr Samia passed heated remarks against Alauddin and his group, with the PML-Q dissident leader replying in kind.
Both legislators kept on sparring for some time, completely disorienting the House proceedings.
PPP member Shaukat Basra said on a point of order that the chair should take the issue of use of indecent language by both the leaders seriously, as their attitude would defame the assembly at the national and the international level.
The chair eventually issued warning to both Samia and Alauddin, saying action would be taken against them if they used such a language in the future.
The second scuffle began when Amna Ulfat of the PML-Q, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Labour Minister Ashraf Sohna of the PPP exchanged allegations.
The quarrel started when Amna raised the issue of appointment of board of governors in public institutions and colleges of Punjab.
Sanaullah said her statement had only been made to gain attention, as the matter was already under discussion.
The labour minister then strongly condemned the law minister, saying he had no right to accuse any member or question his of her intention.
He said there was a “one man rule” in the province and such important decisions were made without taking the House into confidence.
Sohna said the appointment of board of governors must be discussed in the House as it related to the future of millions of youth in the province.
He said granting an autonomous status to the colleges would open a new door to illiteracy, as hefty fees and educational expenditures would close the doors to higher education on the poor.
The minister said a sole authority in the Punjab Higher Education Commission was deciding the fate of provincial education.
Sohna said nothing had been done so far for protesting students and teachers of the province, who were demanding the annulment of the BOG system.
Responding to Sohna’s speech, Sanaullah criticised him, saying the labour minister had been trying to show his presence in the House and had come prepared with his emotional speech. He said the minister should correct his attitude.
Sohna objected strongly, saying Sanaullah had no right to attribute such a statement to an honourable member.
He demanded Sanaullah apologise, but the law minister refused, saying Sohna was making an issue out of nothing.
The third light skirmish occurred when Sardar Mohsin Khan Leghari requested the House to grant Public Account Committte-I another month to submit its report on government spending since 2002.
The request was turned down by a majority of members from the treasury, despite Sanaullah and Mehr Ishtiaq supporting Leghari.
The request was opposed mainly by MMA Parliamentary Leader Ali Khan Niazi. But after some time the request was accepted and PAC-I was granted the requested relaxation.
Meanwhile, PML-Q’s Sardar Mohsin Leghari said farmers in flood-hit areas were under heavy loans borrowed from private money lenders. Upon this, Sh Alauddin informed the speaker that he had raised the matter through an adjournment motion in the previous assembly session and Sardar Mohsin should be barred from point scoring.
The session was adjourned until Monday.



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