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PA meets for another stormy, brief session

Updated February 23, 2019

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Temperature in Punjab Assembly continued to rise as PTI and PML-N MPAs traded barbs during the session. — Dawn
Temperature in Punjab Assembly continued to rise as PTI and PML-N MPAs traded barbs during the session. — Dawn

LAHORE: The Punjab government would ensure the appointment of the heads of schools in the next six months and also establish girls’ high schools at the union council level throughout the province, Minister for School Education Murad Raas told the Punjab Assembly on Friday.

Responding to questions in a brief assembly session, which started late by two hours and could not complete its agenda, the minister kept resorting to his usual anti-PML-N rhetoric instead of focusing on questions, and kept temperatures of proceedings high.

“Had it not been for the unscrupulous loot of exchequer by the previous government, the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf) would have provided missing facilities to schools by now,” the minister came up with his usual refrain to most of the questions asked about his department.

His answers drew ire of the opposition, which accused the PTI leadership of misappropriating charity money and zakat funds, fraying nerves on either side.

Treasury’s Yawar Abbas Bukhari of the treasury only took the temperatures to a boiling point when he shouted “shut up” to opposition MPA Gullnaz Shehzadi, who was taking attack to the treasury – alleging all kinds of corruption on the PTI and its top leaders.

Though Ms Shehzadi also responded in the same words, Mr Bukhari’s attack on a female colleague agitated the opposition which tore the copies of the agenda, resorted to sloganeering on the top of their voice and demanded apology from him. After few minutes of raucous, the opposition walked out of the house and pointed out the broken quorum.

Mian Muhammad Shafi, who was chairing the session as member of panel of chairmen, sent Mian Aslam Iqbal, Ashfa Riaz Fatayana and Samiullah Khan to bring the opposition back.

The opposition did return to the house but on the condition that Mr Bukhari would take back his words. When he did apologise, things returned to normalcy.

The minister also remained subdued in the session which only lasted few more minutes as the time expired and the house was adjourned to meet on Monday afternoon.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2019