LAHORE, July 16: Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz criticised the chief minister for appointing an under-matriculation person as adviser to the chief minister for education.

During his speech in the Punjab Assembly on Monday, Mr Riaz grilled Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on the issue embarrassing the treasury by saying that the chief minister had insulted his colleagues by not selecting anyone from them.

Some newspapers reported on Monday that the chief minister had appointed Khizar Hayat Hiraj, a former MPA, who is not even a matriculate as his special assistant on education.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, however, denied any such posting.

Mr Riaz called the chief minister a “house deserter”, adding that despite repeated assurances by the speaker Mr Sharif had not stayed in the house to listen to his assertions in his last appearance in the house.

A couple of MPAs from the treasury tried to interrupt the opposition leader but the chair showing an unusual tilt towards Mr Riaz, asked them to listen to Mr Riaz.

During the Question Hour, Prisons Minister Iqbal Chunnar’s performance caused embarrassment to the treasury as even spoon-feeding by department officials did not help him respond to the supplementary queries by various MPAs.

He would either not understand questions or go irrelevant.

To a written question by a treasury member, the minister said as it was not under any building control authority, his department did not need approval of maps of its buildings from any quarters.

Frustrated at the reply, the mover, Rana Afzal, pleaded the chair to form a committee to look into the issue as it seemed the Prisons Department was unaware of the building laws.

The opposition got adjourned the Punjab Assembly session it had convened to grill the government on deaths of patients during the recent doctors’ strike and other issues.

PPP’s Sajida Mir pointed out the broken quorum in the house when Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal refused to oblige her request to stop unification bloc’s Sheikh Allauddin from presenting multiple adjournment motions and giving his turn to two women MPAs.

The chair called for ringing of bells for five minutes and then put off proceedings for 10am on Tuesday as the presence of the minimum required number of 94 members could not be ensured.

Mr Iqbal regretted that the opposition did not maintain quorum for the session as the treasury was ready to respond to all their queries.

Ms Mir told reporters that giving time to a controversial person like Sheikh to table seven motions had annoyed her.

CLINICAL WASTE: In an adjournment motion, Sheikh Allaudin urged the government to check as to how the dangerous clinical material was cleared by the customs in violation of the Sindh High Court orders.

In another motion, he pointed out the theft of 27 files relating to state land worth billions of rupees from the office of advocate general, Punjab.

Rana Sana requested the chair to make the motion pending till the next session as the advocate general was personally probing the incident.

In yet another motion, the Sheikh pointed out the poor performance of University of Health Sciences and Post Graduate Medical Institute. He said that only 45 out of 353 doctors enrolled for Master of Surgery and Master of Medicine passed in the last 10 years. He said that these institutions were giving admissions to favorites.

As he was reading out text of another adjournment motion, irritated Sajida Mir pointed out quorum, causing adjournment of proceeding till Tuesday (today) morning.


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