Opp warns of agitation movement over ToRs

  • Mehmoodur Rasheed questions why PM is reluctant to accept TORs if he is clean-handed
  • Sanaullah says opposition parties trying to derail system in the name of accountability

Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed on Monday warned that an agitation movement of national level could erupt if the prime minister refused to accept the Terms of Reference (TORs) opposition parties had drafted after thorough deliberations for the judicial commission to probe the allegations leveled in the Panama Papers.

“Why is the prime minister so reluctant to accept the TORs of the opposition if he is clean-handed,” questioned the PTI leader while talking to a bevy of journalists after the 21st session of the Punjab Assembly was adjourned for want of quorum till Tuesday morning.

Criticising the opposition scathingly, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah alleged that the opposition parties were derailing the system in the guise of accountability. “Leader of Opposition in Senate Ch Aitzaz Ahsan is on the payroll of country’s largest land mafia and now he is talking about accountability,” the minister said, adding the opposition parties did not want Pakistan to progress as they wanted to create political instability in the country.

Meanwhile, a bill and an ordinance were supposed to be presented before the House but could not be taken up for the second consecutive day due to the lack of quorum.

Earlier, on a point of order, Sardar Shahabuddin, a Pakistan People’s Party lawmaker from Layyah, complained that gunny bags were not being distributed fairly among farmers in southern Punjab. He said that the middlemen were depriving poor farmers by using their influence, and the government should immediately act. “If farmers do not get gunny bags, then the middleman will exploit the situation through purchase of wheat at lower prices against the rates fixed by the government,” the PPP lawmaker added.

Upon this, Speaker Rana Iqbal instructed provincial minister Sher Ali Khan to look into the matter.

On another point of order, Opposition Leader Mehmoodur Rasheed said he was not allowed to table his adjournment motion on government’s spending of Rs 430 million on the Governor’s House in Murree.

Meanwhile, the opposition staged a walkout when a verbal duel erupted between a female legislator, Faiza Malik, and Parliamentary Secretary of Auqaf and Religious Affairs Saqlain Anwar Sipra.

During a supplementary question, Faiza Malik, who belongs to the PPP, said that “Sipra does not know the rules of the assembly properly as he got elected for the first time”.

Sipra got annoyed and corrected the woman legislator by reminding her that this was his third term in the august House.

“I got elected third time, and you did not get elect even for a single time as you entered this House on a reserved seat,” he went on to say. This angered Faiza and as she protested, she was joined by other opposition parties as well and later a walkout was staged.