Punjab Assembly: Opposition pleads for protesting civil servants

Riaz says PPP manifesto for next election will promise Seraiki province.


Abdul Manan March 22, 2011

LAHORE: The opposition benches in the Punjab Assembly on Monday demanded that the government immediately withdraw show cause notices issued to provincial service officers.

PPP’s Sajida Mir, speaking on a point of order, said the government had humiliated civil officers by arresting them and putting them in barracks.

She said that Provincial Management Services (PMS)officers were detained with ordinary criminals.

She thanked the court for sanctioning their bail. She said that during their detention the 73 officers were also served with show cause notices to which they had to respond within seven days.

Mir said the officers were being humiliated because of their confrontation with District Management Group(DMG) officers.

Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam’s (PML-Q’s) Sameena Khawar and PPP’s Amna Buttar seconded Mir and demanded that the speaker form a committee to investigate and resolve the matter.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said that in 2010,following an adjournment motion, a committee was formed to resolve several issues raised by the officers. He said that when the officers continued their strike, Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif formed another committee under Sirdar Zulfiqar Khan Khosa. He said their demands like removing the backlog in promotions and regular meetings of the selection boards had been met.

He said their demand for a50 per cent quota in the appointment of commissioners and DCOs had also been fulfilled.Out of 36 DCOs today,13 were provincial services officers,he added. Sananullah said that when the PMS officers announced their strike for March 21, the CM had directed him to negotiate with them. He said that civil officers could not call a strike as they were part of the executive.On Friday, he said, two officers had been distributing offensive material against DMG officers at the Secretariat and when security guards stopped them they called 200 of their colleagues and forcibly locked many rooms at the Secretariat.

Sanaullah said 73 officers had been arrested. He said the call for strike for Monday had failed as all offices worked smoothly. Only 20 officers would be punished, he added,as they had provoked other officers.Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal asked the committee which had taken up the issue earlier to meet on Thursday under his chairmanship.

Leader of the Opposition Raja Riaz, rising on a point of order, said that his PPP will add the Seraiki province to its manifesto for the next general election. No one from treasury benches responded to this announcement.

PML-Q’s Aamir Sultan Cheema alleged that the provincial government had managed to raise Rs200 million from the business community so that Raymond Davis could be released. He said the money should have been taken from the Sharifs’ accounts.

PML-Q’s parliamentary leader Chaudhry Zaheeruddin Khan moved a privilege motion against the Federal Investigation Agency for arresting MPA Moonis Elahi. Sanaullah opposed it saying the privilege had already been referred to the privileges committee. Khan, then, demanded that the matter be expedited. The session was adjourned due to lack of quorum till Tuesday at 10 am.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2011.

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