PPP accuses Punjab govt of corruption, raps bureaucracy


LAHORE: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) legislators’ difference of opinion sparked the Punjab Assembly proceedings on Monday when the PPP members of provincial assembly (MPAs) condemned the ‘indifferent attitude’ of the bureaucracy leveled allegations of corruption against the Punjab government.
With Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal in the chair, the house proceedings were running smoothly until PPP MPA Shaukat Basra said that the MPAs had no worth and they “are cheaper than the Sasti Roti”. Least bothered: “I must say that the title MPA is no less than a abuse in Punjab”, he said adding that all government officers avoided talking to MPAs and some even did not bother attending the legislators’ phone calls.
Basra said that the crime rate was rapidly increasing and the corruption had also reached unprecedented levels in the province. He said that the government, instead of taking notice of this situation, was busy planning the privatisation of the educational institutions. “History will never forgive us for all this”, he added.
The situation turned tense when Basra targeted Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif directly, saying that Shahbaz had become the province’s chief executive only with the help of the PPP vote. The bureaucracy is ruling in the province and the CM must at least ask of himself what drama was going on, he added.
Basra’s accusatory address forced Law Minister Rana Sanaullah to question Basra as to what sacrifices he had rendered for the sake of the people of Punjab. He said it was always easy to ‘spice up a story’ instead of facing the bitter realities. Basra must know that he has the facility to move a privilege motion instead of creating hue and cry, Sanaullah added.
Corruption: The law minister said that if Basra wanted to talk about corruption, then he must also talk about the corruption prevalent in Islamabad. The PML-N has no objection on holding a debate on corruption in the House, but no party or part of government would be discriminated against.
When the House was about to initiate the debate on inflation, MPA Samina Khawar pointed out the quorum, on which the MPA-count was made. However, the quorum was incomplete and bells were rung for five minutes, which was enough to get the missing MPAs back on the floor. After this, the House continued with the day’s proceedings. After the completion of the agenda, the House was adjourned until Tuesday morning.