PESHAWAR, Dec 11: The absence of ministers from the ongoing session of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly forced the speaker to keep important business pending on Tuesday.

The opposition members staged walkout from the house to lodge their protest against the absence of ministers.

The treasury benches faced embarrassment as only five out of total 24 ministers were present in the house. Speaker Kiramatullah Khan Chagharmatti kept important business, including questions and call attention notices, pending owing to absence of the ministers.

The opposition members staged a token walkout from the house to lodge protest against what they called ‘irresponsible attitude’ of the ministers.

Before leading the walkout, Mutahidda Majlis-i-Amal MPA Mufti Kifayatullah said on a point of order that ministers were losing interest in the assembly’s proceedings as general elections were coming close.

Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Agriculture Minister Arbab Ayub Jan went to the opposition leader’s chamber and brought the lawmakers of MMA and Qaumi Wattan Party back to the house.

However, the lawmakers of both factions of Pakistan Muslim League went to a separate lobby instead of opposition leader’s chamber after the walkout.

The information minister also criticised his colleagues for not taking the assembly’s session serious and said that there was no justification for ministers to remain absence from the session.

Mr Hussain said that it was very strange that many ministers were neither present in their offices nor attended the assembly session. He justified opposition members’ complaint and appreciated them for pointing out the issue. He said that presence of ministers would be ensured during the session.

Speaker Chagharmatti also directed the government to ensure presence of ministers during current session.

MALALA FUND: Minister for Primary and Elementary Education Sardar Hussain Babak on a point of order lauded establishment of “Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education” and appointment of Malala’s father Ziauddin Yousafzai as UN advisor for education.

He said that establishment of the fund was great honour for the people of Pakistan particularly for the inhabitants of Swat valley. He said that international community had recognised the sacrifices of people of Pakistan by setting up the fund that would be spent on promotion of girls’ education around the world.

The minister appreciated President Asif Ali Zardari for donating $10 million to the fund in Paris and said that major chunk of the fund should be spent on girls’ education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Minister for Environment Wajid Ali Khan and Minister for Science and Technology Ayub Ashari also hailed establishment of the fund.

They also congratulated Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Minister for Social Welfare Sitara Ayaz for receiving human rights awards in Islamabad. The house was adjourned till 4pm Friday.

Updated Dec 12, 2012 12:13am

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