Real opposition – Riaz warns of ‘tough response’

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LAHORE – Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz on Monday warned the PML-N-led provisional government to release the development funds for the ongoing schemes in the constituencies of the PPP MPAs. He said if funds were not released by Thursday, they would give a very aggressive response in the assembly on the next day (Friday). Raja Riaz-led opposition in the Punjab Assembly once again did not allow the treasury to take up official business. The proceedings on the second day of its 23rd session, with Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal in the chair, started at 3:45pm about 45 minute late from the schedule.
Raja Riaz, in his speech, also focused on Dr Tauqeer, Secretary to Punjab Chief Minister, saying he was managing the government affairs and all the ministers were just worthless. He asked the bureaucrat to mend his ways, saying he would be held accountable for his illegal actions. He informed the house that the funds allocated for the ongoing development schemes were frozen soon after the ouster of the PPP minister from the Punjab cabinet. Riaz asked Shahbaz Sharif to stop taking advice from Dr Tauqeer and read the constitution.
He said in response to his advice to attend the house proceedings, the chief minister replied that he was not answerable to anyone. “I have been a part of the government for three years and I have not seen a proud man like Shahbaz Sharif who even does not like to shake hands with MPAs,” the PPP leader remarked, adding that in reality, he was in minority and had failed miserably to deliver. Riaz also took came hard on PML-N leader Chaudhry Nisar by calling him as ‘General Nisar’ and said it seemed that General Nisar was eyeing the slot of prime minister with a view that after the leadership of the PML-N left for Jeddah again he might get a chance to the enter the PM’s House. “But the PPP would not let it happen,” he said in an aggressive manner.
Riaz said the PML-N had never faced the opposition and the PPP would ensure running the business of the house only with their consent; otherwise, the treasury would not be able to get through even a single agenda on the floor of the house. The house was adjourned while Raja Riaz had not completed his speech. Earlier, the fateha offered fateha for the departed soul of the PPP leader Khalid Ghurki. The treasury badly failed to take up the agenda on the second day of the sittings. Tuesday is the private members’ day; therefore, the treasury will have no room for the official business on the third consecutive day.
This is the first time that the PML-N is facing an awkward position. It is not clear how long this exercise will continue but the PPP ahs already proved itself difficult to handle.