Chaos grips Punjab Assembly yet again

From Abid Usman

LAHORE: As Punjab’s political temperature remains hot, the atmosphere inside the provincial assembly Tuesday once again took a chaotic turn as the session began with a three-hour-long delay.
At the start of the session, presided over by Punjab Assembly Speaker Sibtain Khan, 25 lawmakers of the government and 56 of the opposition were present inside the legislative.
A day earlier, opposition parties raised slogans in the house, demanding Chief Minister Parvez Elahi take a vote of con-fidence. The session had started with a delay of two hours and twenty minutes.
The opposition protested against the chief minister for not taking the vote of confidence. Slogans were also raised by the treasury members against Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Attaullah Tarar, who were present in the assembly on Monday as well.
Today, the assembly’s proceedings turned into a ruckus as opposition members hammered copies of the agenda on the benches causing a commotion.
The situation turned rough when the opposition began raising slogans, and those on the ruling seats retorted at them. “Opposition should respond to Hamza Shehbaz’s corruption,” PTI’s Sardar Shahabuddin Khan Sehir said while shaming the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) members.

Meanwhile, Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed of PTI also criticised the interior minister, who was seated in the lobby and later barred from entering the assembly.

“Our government is established and will [complete its tenure],” the PTI politician said, after which the speaker ad-journed the session for 15 minutes.

Later, when the session resumed, PTI leader Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar slammed the PML-N for resorting to “op-pression and brutality” in Punjab.

“[We] demand an account for the killing of innocent children,” he said, seeking justice for the victims of the Model Town incident. He also demanded a response to the attack on PTI Chairman Imran Khan.

“Criminals are sitting in the lobby, so I’m walking out,” he said departing the legislative in protest.

Following the incessant chaos in the house, the session was adjourned till 3pm January 11 (Tuesday).

Meanwhile, PTI’s Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry censured his party’s dissident provincial lawmaker Momina Waheed for being a “turncoat” for Rs50 million.

“Despite Momina’s departure, we still have 188 numbers,” he said during a press conference in Lahore. The former federal minister said that his party’s members are getting calls from “unknown numbers”.

“Attempt is being made to change the loyalties of our assembly members through bribes. It is requested from the ar-my chief that investigation of these matters is necessary,” the politician said.