The Punjab Assembly met for a short time on Thursday to pass two resolutions – one regretting the factory fires in Lahore and Karachi and the other against a controversial American film.
As many as 108 members of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had requested that the speaker summon a session. The PPP had wanted to press the speaker to nominate two MPAs to the commission on new provinces. However, only a handful of PPP members attended the session. Many were at the Governor’s House attending a meeting called by President Asif Ali Zardari.
The day’s agenda was, once again, ignored and the session was prorogued indefinitely.
Acting Speaker Rana Mashood Ahmad Khan chaired the brief session, which started at 3.30pm. One the agenda were Question Hour about the Home Department and a debate on new provinces but it wasn’t taken up for lack of quorum.
Journalists boycotted the session, demanding that their long standing issues regarding the Journalists’ Housing Colony be resolved.
Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s Chaudhry Zaheeruddin presented a resolution condemning a movie that is said to contain blasphemous material. The resolution was passed unanimously.
It said the house condemned the movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’ in which blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has been committed and demands that the culprits be brought to justice. It said that though western countries claimed to be preachers of inter-religious harmony, their media was guilty of blasphemy. It condemned the countries that “are provoking Muslims as part of a conspiracy against Muslim countries”.
The house demanded that the federal government ask the United Nations to take action against those responsible and to ensure that such “deliberate actions” are not repeated.
Law Minister Rana Sanaullah then presented a resolution condoling with the families of the factory workers who died in fires in Lahore and Karachi. The resolution called the fires “a national tragedy”.
Quorum was pointed out after the resolutions were adopted. Bells were rung but when members did not turn up, Mashood prorogued the session.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2012.