LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly (PA) speaker, exercising his powers under the PA Rules of Procedure, has allotted the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam’s (PML-Q) dissidents’ demand for separate seats in the PA until the next election.
The group’s other demand regarding the appointment of their own head of the parliamentary party in the PA has been referred to the law department.
PA deputy speaker Rana Mashhood Khan said that on February 3 the Unification bloc had submitted their application to the speaker making two demands.
First, that they be allotted separate seats in the PA. Second, that PML-Q MPA Dr Tahir Ali Javed be appointed the head of their parliamentary party in the PA.
Khan said that under Rule 8 of the PA Rules of Procedure, the speaker had allowed their first demand. The rule, he said, states that members shall sit in the House as the speaker may determine.
Their second demand, the deputy speaker, said had been sent to the law department. He said the Constitution had been ambiguous on defining the head of the parliamentary party in the house but the 18th amendment defined it as the head of the political party. He said the new definition would be entertained from the next elections.
The Opposition leader in the PA, Chaudhry Zaheeruddin Khan, told The Express Tribune that he was appointed parliamentary leader after the approval of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.
He said the speaker could not appoint a parliamentary party leader in the house. Sources in the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said that if the Pakistan People Party’s seven ministers were ousted from the Punjab cabinet after February 23, the deadline PML-N had set for implementation of its 10-point agenda, 10 ministries may be granted to the Unification bloc.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2011.