Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) demanded during Monday’s session of the Punjab Assembly demanded that the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) take suo motu notice of the injustices against the party and against those who had attacked the apex court in the past. The PPP also asked the CJP to take notice of a pending petition against the chief minister (CM).
PPP’s deputy parliamentary leader Shaukat Mehmood Basra, speaking on a point of order, said the courts had unjustly meted out a death sentence to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He said then Justice Naseem Hassan Shah had later admitted that Bhutto’s trial had not been fair.
He said that CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had been restored by their efforts and he should therefore take suo motu notice against those who were involved in Bhutto’s killing.
He said that in the 1990s a former prime minister had ordered an attack on the Supreme Court (SC), removed the name plates of judges from their court rooms and threatened judges. He said the CJP should take suo motu notice of the tragic history of the country.
He said the Punjab CM was heading the government illegally. He said a petition was pending before the SC in that regard.
He said the PPP demanded that the CJP take suo motu notice of this pending petition. He questioned why the SC should be reluctant to decide the petition. Basra also demanded that the CJP take suo motu notice of the target killings in Karachi.
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the nation respected the services of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. He said that if PPP believes there had been injustice in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s case, it should move the SC through its president.
He said earlier the PPP leaders used to mislead the people that the Punjab government was running on stay orders. Now it had come up with another ridiculous theory that a petition was pending in the SC against the CM. He said if Basra provides him with the petition number he would appeal to the SC to deal with it on a priority basis.
Monday’s proceedings started late, at around 4:30 pm, under the chairmanship of Deputy Speaker Rana Mashhood. During Question Hour, PPP’s Pervaiz Rafiq, rising on a point of order, said sanitary workers who belonged to the Christian community were protesting in front of the PA because they had been discriminated against.
He said that the Solid Waste Management administration allowed Muslim workers to come two hours late and leave before Iftar during the month of Ramazan.
He said Christians who were fasting these days had demanded that the managing director (MD) similarly relax the rules for them. He said, according to the workers, the MD not only refused but also uttered derogatory words against the Bible.
When the sanitary workers approached the DCO, he said, to resolve their issue, he instead suspended 200 of their colleagues.
Mashhood said the house had constituted a committee which was talking to the workers.
During Question Hour about Housing, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Parliamentary Secretary Zafar Iqbal Nagra could not give satisfactory answers regarding the Urban Development and Public Health Engineering Department. No minister was available to reply to other points of order so opposition benches called a token boycott of the house.
After their boycott, PPP’s Faiza Ahmad Malik pointed out a lack of quorum. Mashhood then adjourned the session till Tuesday at 10 am.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2011.