LAHORE: It was Shaukat Mehmood Basra’s day at the Punjab Assembly on Friday.
The PPP deputy parliamentary leader kept criticising the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP), Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, before and during the session, for what he saw as his partiality towards the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N).
The House – that met for only two hours on Friday – did not take up any business on the agenda except for the Question Hour.
Shaukat Mehmood Basra, on a point of order, said that the CJP had constituted a commission last year to probe an alleged conspiracy to kill the then chief justice of the Lahore High Court Khawaja Muhammad Sharif. “It’s been eights months since its recommendations were sent but the government has not implemented any of them,” Basra said.
The deputy parliamentary leader said that the PPP leaders had cooperated with the commission “even though charges against them were meant only to malign them”.
Among other things, the commission had recommended that secretary to the chief minister Dr Touqeer Shah should be removed from office.
“But Shah is still serving,” Basra said.
The PPP member also said that those involved in the conspiracy still enjoying protocol and official residences. “I ask the chief justice of Pakistan: is Shahbaz Sharif guilty of contempt of court? Sharif should be sent a notice for failing to implement the recommendations,” Basra said.
Basra’s tirade was interrupted by PML-N’s Waris Khan Kallu who said, “It is the PPP that defies court rulings; the latest example being the NRO verdict”.
Earlier, talking to reporters he had said that CJP Chaudhry gave relief to the PML-N because Rana Sanaullah was his cousin.
PML-N’s Rana Tajammul Hussain and PML-Q’s Sardar Mohsin Khan Leghari were stopped by the chair, Rana Muahammad Iqbal, from discussing the surrender of Pakistani forces in Dhaka in 1971.
Members’ questions about the Home Department were answered by Rana Sanaullah.
The Question Hour proceedings became quite heated when Sanaullah, while replying to a question, said that honest officials had been appointed to police stations.
At this, Basra remarked, “If the law minister says the police are honest then he is lying.”
The PPP leader then said that the police and the Punjab government were looting the public together.
Sanaullah retaliated by attacking the PPP, “Compared with PPP’s corrupt leaders [Punjab] Police are innocent.”
The session was adjourned till 3pm on Monday. Speaker Rana Muahammad Iqbal also directed Law Minister Rana Sanaullah to ensure the presence of all ministers in the House on Monday.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2011.