Opposition lashes out at LG Bill, drones


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) submitted a resolution in Punjab Assembly (PA) demanding the federal government to raise the issue of drone attacks at international forums.
PTI Legislator Mian Aslam Iqbal submitted the resolution against the attacks saying that drone attacks caused severe losses to the country and the government needed to stop the attacks by adopting appropriate measures.
Additionally, opposition benches in the PA asked the provincial government to refrain from adopting the 2013 Local Government (LG) Bill in haste as it had a direct link with the problems incurred by the masses.
Pakistan Muslim League- Quaid (PML-Q)’s Deputy Parliamentary Leader Sardar Waqqas Hasan Moakal suggested not to hurry in passing the LG Bill within one or two days as it was directly related to the common man. He also suggested that the open debate could continue for two months for proper consideration on the issue.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s Parliamentary Leader Qazi Ahmad Saeed said that all the members of local governments should be elected through a direct election on party basis.
Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N)’s Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan said that the government should restore the Panchait System at the local level in the new bill, following India’s system.
Debate on the Bill continued on Tuesday but the PA also witnessed an echo about the ‘MPA hostel grabbers’ and certain demerits in the education ministry.
Tuesday’s session chaired by Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan started one hour and 15 minutes later than its scheduled time at 10am. An open debate on the LG bill was reopened in the PA, suspending the rules of procedure, soon after recitation of several holy verses from the Quran and a Naat.
PTI’s Dr Salahuddin Khan on a point of order disclosed that the MPAs Hostel (a hostel for the members of Punjab Assembly) had been grabbed by some personnel who were not giving the charge of its rooms to others.
He further informed the House that a committee had been constituted by the speaker to allot the rooms in the hostel but the committee remained unable to make any decision into the matter which was creating problems for the MPAs in getting residence.
During the debate, PTI’s Sadia Sohail on a point of order said that the government had given a foreign scholarship to Beaconhouse School’s Waqqar, who was a topper in the Lahore Board (boys category) but the topper from the girl’s category, Sangla Hill’s Rashida, had been overlooked for the scholarship. Sohail asked the government to reconsider its decision in this regard after which Iqbal asked the Provincial Minister to take the notice of the issue.
Furthermore, PTI’s Arif Abbasi on a point of order told the House that Nullah Leh in Rawalpindi was flooded and there were chances of mass damage so the government needed to take steps to help the locals of the area. In response, the Irrigation Minister told the assembly that there were many encroachments around the region which were hampering the government’s efforts but the latter was taking measures to secure the locals.
As many as 15 members took part in Tuesday’s open debate. Most were of the view that the local government elections should be held on political and party bases.
Furthermore, PTI’s Sadia Sohail filed an adjournment motion in the PA against the rape of a teenage girl by an influential landlord, Muhammad Hayyat, in Chak-75 North of Sargodha. She requested the government to take notice of the crime. She said that Hayyat had raped 13-year-old Razia, daughter of Mumtaz, for last seven years.
She said Mumtaz, a drug addict, sold his daughter to Hayyat, adding that Hayyat made a fake marriage certificate and kept her in habeas for a long time. During the period, the girl gave birth to four of the landlords children.
The motion further mentioned that when the marriage certificate was exposed as fake, the landlord subjected Razia to brutal torture, breaking her arms and legs and locking her up in a house, where she had remained since the last two days.
Meanwhile, the PA’s PML-Q members pointed out a possible provincial shortage of wheat (food grains).
Amir Sultan Cheema, Sardar Moakal and Dr Afzal submitted the adjournment motion in the assembly as the expected wheat crop target had not been achieved. They said that wheat production at 17.5 million tons had remained less than target of 19.2 million tons, adding that they feared a national-level wheat shortage in the upcoming days.


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