LAHORE: MPAs debated the affects of Indian cartoons on the minds of Pakistani children in the Punjab assembly session on Tuesday.
A resolution calling for a ban on Indian cartoons was one of the five presented and defeated in the assembly. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah defended the composition of the taskforces working in the province.
MPA Samina Khawar Hayat said that the Indian media were manipulating the minds of the children through Indian cartoons. She said that they were promoting the Hindu culture in Pakistani children, and proposed a resolution banning such programmes.
Deputy speaker Rana Mashood responded that the channels could not be banned and people should take responsibility for their children. “If we bring up our children in a proper way, no such programme can affect them,” he said.
Advocate Tayyaba Zameer said that the devastation caused by the Indian dramas was far greater than the devastation brought by the floods or the earthquake.
PPP MPA Sajjida Mir opposed the resolution, saying it would be followed by a resolution demanding the closure of Hindu temples and gurdwaras. Hayat replied that she had moved the resolution for the benefit of the children of Pakistan.
Hassan Murtaza, a PPP MPA, said that the Pakistani society had double standards.
He said that things condemned inside the assembly were openly followed outside it. He said that Khwaja Imran Nazir apparently opposed Indian songs, but listened to them in private. “Yesterday, when I asked Khwaja Imran Nazir for a lift, he was listening to Munni Badnam, an Indian song, in his car,” he said. Nazir called Murataza a ‘liar.’ “I have never given Hassan Murtaza a lift,” Nazir said.
The other defeated resolutions concerned the sale of non-prescription drugs, financial support of flood-affected farmers under an ‘Islamic agricultural system’, and the Services and General Administration Department.
Law minister on task forces:
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told the house that the government had abolished seven more task forces and only 18 task forces remained. He said that the chairmen of these task forces were working without pay.
Responding to a question from MPA Mohsin Leghari, the law minister said that political workers were appointed to work in the task forces, and they did not require professional skills. Previously only seven task force chairmen were paid and the rest worked without pay. However, he said, after the floods the pay of those seven was also stopped.
Speaker on Mastikhel’s absence from court:
The Punjab assembly speaker, Rana Mohammad Iqbal, has directed a special committee to hold a meeting on the absence of MPA Sanaullah Mastikhel.
The speaker asked Provincial Finance Minister Tanvir Ashraf Kaira to lead the meeting on October 21 in the Punjab Assembly committee room C, after the session.
Mastikhel had been sought by the Lahore High Court, regarding news tickers on three private TV channels, which said that Mastikhel’s BA degree was bogus.
In previous assembly sessions, Mastikhel had asked the speaker to take immediate action against the TV channels.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2010.