Opposition grills prisons minister in PA

MPAs continue to hail the role of the armed forces

Our Correspondent March 01, 2019

LAHORE: Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari joined the opposition in expressing his dissatisfaction over the lack of preparation on the part of Punjab Minister for Prisons Zawar Hussain Warraich to answer questions.

The session started on Thursday with the deputy speaker in the chair. In his supplementary question, PML-N MPA Samiullah Khan asked why the PTI government hadn’t organized a single medical camp for prisoners since coming into power.

“Are prisoners not falling ill these days?” he asked sarcastically. He added PML-N, during its tenure, organised 38 medical camps for prisoners and three were established by the caretaker setup. Responding, Warraich said medical camps were being established in March and would start from Friday (today).

He further told the house that over 49,000 prisoners were in Punjab’s jails and blood tests of 38,000 had been completed. PML-N’s Azma Bukhari said new jails should be constructed, keeping in view the increasing number of prisoners in the province. She said the existing jails could not cater to the prisoners.

Criticising the prison department, she said a wall at Faisalabad Central Jail had fallen two months ago, but the government failed to take notice. The minister’s answer failed to satisfy Bukhari who continued to grill Warraich. At this point, the deputy speaker intervened and this irked the PML-N MPA who said Mazari was attempting to rescue the minister.

Finally, the deputy speaker also showed his displeasure, telling the minister it was regrettable that he was unprepared to answer the questions posed to him.

Earlier, speaking on a point of order, Punjab Minister for Energy Dr Akhtar paid rich tribute to the armed forces of Pakistan for timely action over the violation of Pakistani airspace by the Indian Air Force. “The way our Prime Minister put the case of Pakistan in front of the world is remarkable and our armed forces should be given a befitting tribute,” he said.

PML-N’s Waris Kallu said credit goes to Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif who made Pakistan as an invincible country by turning it into a nuclear power. “We all are sitting here comfortably because of the atomic technology. The nation of Pakistan will stand firmly with armed forces in this difficult situation,” he added.

Azma Bukhari, on a point of order, brought up the fact that the JIT report on the Sahiwal incident had been completed. She asked when lawmakers would be briefed on the findings. Law minister Raja Basharat said the JIT report was with the CM and he would speak in the cabinet about taking the house into confidence. Later, the Deputy Speaker adjourned the session till Friday after the agenda was completed.


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