Shahbaz Sharif’s statement that he was not accountable to anyone but God is a violation of the privilege of the House, Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz asserted on Monday.
Continuing from where he had left on Friday, Riaz demanded the courts determine Shahbaz Sharif’s eligibility to hold the office of chief minister. He said Shahbaz had been elected chief minister on his seat from Bhakkar (PP 48) but was later elected from PP-10 Rawalpindi.
Riaz also criticised Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Chaudary Nisar Ali Khan, deriding him as General Nisar. He said Nisar wanted Sharifs exiled to Jeddah once more so that he could be a contender for prime minister’s office after the next election.
He demanded that the government resume development work in PPP MPAs’ constituencies by Thursday, else he warned the opposition would not let the house proceed with its business. He said the projects had been suspended on directives issued by chief minister’s secretary, Dr Tauqeer Shah.
Earlier speaking on a point of order, PPP’s Pervaiz Rafiq blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba of for Shahbaz Bhatti’s assassination. He said in its recent rallies, LeT had openly spoken against Bhatti accusing him of trying to amend blasphemy law. He said in 1995 LeT had threatened Bhatti with life when he had raised the issue of its militant training centre in Muridke.
Rafiq said Bhatti may have been alive today had Punjab Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the misuse of blasphemy law. He demanded that such a resolution be passed to prevent the loss of more lives.
Provincial Minister for Minorities Kamran Michael said the federal government should be held responsible for Bhatti’s assassination. He said the slain minister had time and again asked for improved security but his requests were not entertained. He said the provincial government had renamed the Government Boys High School in Bhatti’s native village to Government Shahbaz Bhatti High School.
Journalists in the press gallery protested and demanded better security after a TV cameraman was injured by a stray bullet during the break for Maghrib prayers.
Earlier, the second day of the 23rd session started with the PPP and PML-Q MPAs again protesting in front of the assembly building. They carried lotas to mock the Unification Bloc members. PML-Q’s Samina Khawar Hayat and some other woman members also bricked around with their lotas.
The session was adjourned till Tuesday (today) 10am without a debate on the Higher Education Department, the business for the day.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2011.
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