- Ruling party says accused brought in session on orders of PHC
PESHAWAR: Angry members of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly Tuesday broke the quorum of the house to block the administering of oath to MPA-elect Baldev Kumar on minority seat.
The MPA-elect is behind bars for the alleged murder of former advisor to chief minister Sardar Soran Singh near his house in district Buner. The accused was on the second spot on the priority list of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for the minority reserved seats.
Baldev Kumar was produced for administering the oath as a member of KP assembly on the orders of Peshawar High Court (PHC). He was sitting in the house and waiting for the announcement of the speaker to invite him for administering the oath.
However, soon after the opening of the session, Mahmood Khan Bhatni of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) took the floor and pinpointed the presence of a murderer in the house saying that the accused had murdered their colleague.
Criticising the presence of Baldev in the house, he said that the accused had been brought to the house just for obtaining his vote for the Senate poll scheduled for March 3. He added that the opposition condemned the attitude of the treasury for bringing him in the assembly.
KP Minister for Information Shah Farman, trying to pacify the protesting opposition, told the house that the accused had been produced in the house on the order of the high court. The order, he said, was issued to the speaker, who read to read out the order in the assembly session.
Leader of Opposition Maulana Lutfur Rehman said that the government should have decided the case in the courts but it had given a safe passage to the accused for the sake of only one vote for Senate polls. He added that the opposition condemned such attitude of the provincial government.
Sardar Aurangzeb Nalotha of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said that deceased Sardar Soran Singh was also affiliated with PTI and the accused had murdered him to replace him in the house. He also reminded the chair of his pledges made in the house that the accused would not be allowed to enter the house.
The PML-N legislator criticised the KP government for not challenging the order of the high court in the Supreme Court. The matter, he said, had become a cause of notoriety for the PTI, adding that the party believed in currency notes instead of votes.
He opposed the administering of oath to the accused and threatened of staging protest against him.
Mufti Fazal Ghafoor of JUI-F, who also hails from Buner district, said that the matter was an internal issue of the ruling PTI, but being a member of the home district of the deceased, he at least demands that before producing the accused in the house, the provincial government should have cleared him from the court.
Replying to the concerns, Shah Farman termed the feelings of the house as genuine and reiterated that the accused had been produced in the assembly on the directives of the court.
He further said that the members of both treasury and opposition benches would stage a walkout to block the administering of oath through breaking quorum in the house, with some members even demanding to kick Baldev out of the house.
Following the walkout of the members from the house, the speaker adjourned the proceedings of the house till Friday.