The government business once again could not be taken up during the 21st session of the Provincial Assembly of Punjab on Thursday due to the lack of quorum.
According to the agenda of the day, the House was supposed to hold discussion on the annual report of Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Lahore for the year 2013-2014, but it was put on hold till the next sitting as the quorum did not allow the session to proceed. Deputy Speaker Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani, who was chairing the session, waited for five minutes, but had to adjourn the session till Friday (today).
During the question-answer session, Parliamentary Secretary for Information and Culture Rana Muhammad Arshad told the House that ‘Sohna Punjab Festival’ would be held in Gujranwala this year, as the Punjab chief minister had approved such festivals in all the divisional headquarters of the province. He was responding to a question posed by a lawmaker from Gujranwala, Chaudhry Ashraf Ali Ansari. “The PHA Gujranwala is not giving us any answer even though a number of letters have been written to the Authority asking it to provide space at Gujranawala’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park”, the parliamentary secretary said.
On a calling-attention notice, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the assassin of MPA Chaudhry Shamshad Ahmad Khan had been killed in a police encounter. The question had been put by Ch Akhtar Ali Khan, who got elected in the by-election on a seat vacated after the killing of his brother in 2015.
In his calling-attention notice, Inamullah Khan Niazi, an independent MPA from Bhakkar, observed that cases of rape after abduction had been rising. He also mentioned an incident in which a 13-year-old girl was assaulted on April 16 2016 in Mianwali. In his reply, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the provincial government had set up a state-of-the-art forensic laboratory in the Lahore division and such laboratories would be spread all over the province to help capture the culprits through DNA tests.
In his reply to a calling-attention notice, Parliamentary Secretary on Health Khawaja Imran Nazir said that 3,621 clinics run by quacks had been sealed in a drive initiated by the Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHCC). He however added that the campaign had to be stalled because a party had been granted a stay order by the Lahore High Court. “The PHCC has challenged the high court’s decision in the apex court and is now waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision,” added Nazir.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) established a protest camp at Faisal Chowk in front of the Punjab Assembly and chanted slogans against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, demanding their resignations over Panama Papers revelations. “Although Punjab is the number one province of the country, it stands first in corruption and bad governance,” Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmodur Rasheed said at the protest camp.
Other PTI leaders at the protest camp, including Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Dr Murad Raas and Sadia Sohail Rana, announced the party would stage protests over the Panama Leaks at Faisal Chowk every Thursday.