Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed on Friday came down hard on the provincial government for what he called its discrimination against the opposition over allocation of development funds.
“We are entering in the fourth parliamentary year now and (we) have been neglected all these three years by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz,” said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader speaking during Punjab Assembly’s session, chaired by Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan.
Rasheed said that the Punjab chief minister had committed in the House in front of honorable members that he would take on board all the opposition parties during his rule, but “it seems that Mr Sharif has forgotten his own promise”.
“We are elected representatives but development funds are being allocated to those people who were defeated by us. It is an insult of this august house that the government is not giving respect to the mandate of opposition members,” the opposition leader said, and warned, “If the government does not take us on board, we’ll not let this house proceed.”
On his turn, the parliamentary leader of Jamaat-e-Islami Dr Waseem Akhtar demanded the restoration of Bahawalpur province. “It seems that Lahore is the whole Punjab as all the major development projects are being initiated here by neglecting the southern part of the province including Bahawalpur,” said Akhtar, who got elected from Bahawalpur in the general elections of May 2013.
Earlier in the day, an ordinance was laid down in the House for offering financial assistance to civilian-victims of terrorism.
During the proceedings, six ordinances, including the ordinance against the child labor at brick kilns and the ordinance for vigilance committees in Punjab, got extension of 90 days by the House.
On his turn, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the Punjab government respected the mandate of the opposition. “I request the opposition members to submit proposals for development works in their constituencies and give us suggestions for the budget,” he added.
The minister was of the view that good suggestions of the opposition would be made part of the budget and funds for development works in their constituencies would also be released. He said the Pakistan Tehrek-e-Insaf (PTI) itself was not serious in the legislative business as the party was busy in rigging mantra for the past three years.
Later, the chair adjourned the session till April4. The pre-budget discussion will continue in the House when it meets on.