Only a handful of women MPAs on reserved seats defended former prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif in the Punjab Assembly over his controversial statement on the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Meanwhile, PML-N MPAs preferred to remain silent as the opposition declared Sharif a traitor.
Only eight out of the 61 minutes were spent on agenda items. The speaker called the names of those legislators who had put questions forward, but the MPAs were not available. The rostrum was then given to PTI’s Dr Nausheen Hamid whose question was being answered when another MPA from her party, Dr Murad Rass, pointed to the lack of quorum. This forced the speaker to adjourn proceedings will 10am on Wednesday.
The legislators of treasury and opposition benches remained at loggerheads on the second day of house proceedings over the statement of the former PM. The ruckus started when opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed, on a point of order, strongly condemned the conduct of Nawaz Sharif who rejected Monday’s statement of the National the Security Council. The council condemned the former premier’s controversial remarks over the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Oddly, Rasheed demanded the resignation of incumbent Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abassi over the comments of his predecessor. He said “we cannot tolerate attacks on our borders”. He added the system was being derailed by Nawaz to hide his corruption. He also demanded the government register an FIR against the former PM under Article 6. He said the controversial statement had shamed the entire nation and tarnished the country’s image. He said the former PM should apologise for the statement.
The opposition chanted slogans against Nawaz, saying he was a “friend of Modi (Indian PM) and therefore a traitor”. Women from the treasury benches called the opposition “liars” in their slogans and announced that Nawaz Sharif would always be there PM.
The house proceedings started at 11:35am despite a scheduled time of 10am. Tilawat and Naat took 10 minutes and at 11:45, the speaker started reading the agenda before adjourning the house for 20 minutes. At 12:21pm, the house proceedings started again and could only last for eight minutes as the lack of quorum was pointed out by 12:29pam.
After five minutes of the bells ringing, the speaker had to adjourn the House as the government could not show the required number of legislators.
During question-answer session, the speaker called the names of first six movers who had put questions related to specialized healthcare and medical education/primary and secondary healthcare. However, the movers were not present in the House.
Later, PTI’s Dr Nausheen Hamid asked a question related to nonfunctioning machines at Nawaz Sharif Hospital in Yakki Gate. In reply, the parliamentary secretary concerned assured the impression was wrong and all machines were in working condition. He added that if any issue was highlighted, authorities would make sure to check. Nausheen wanted to ask other questions, but PTI’s Murad Rass pointed the lack of quorum. The speaker expressed his displeasure, saying it was regrettable that Rass pointed to the quorum at a time when house proceedings were running smoothly.