LAHORE: Political parties have condemned violence in the Punjab Assembly during the election of the chief minister.

During the scuffle in the House, speaker and coalition candidate for the chief minister slot Parvez Elahi suffered an injury to his arm while deputy speaker Dost Muhammad Mazari was slapped and dragged from his hair.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a tweet said: “PTI/PMLQ MPAs attack on Dy Speaker inside Punjab Assembly must be condemned in strongest terms possible. This blatant display of violence & hooliganism is fascism, pure & simple. IK’s desperation & incitement to violence is rupturing our society. He is attacking democracy itself.”

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said: “Attack on deputy speaker Punjab is not only an attack on the Punjab assembly, it’s an attack on our courts who had ruled he conduct elections today, an attack on our democracy, an attack on our constitution, an attack on our federation and an attack on the people of South Punjab.”

PML-Q President Shujaat Husain strongly condemned the attack on Mr Elahi saying the way the speaker (Elahi) was attacked was regrettable. He said police reached the assembly only to provide protection to the deputy speaker and PML-N lawmakers.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz said the mandate which was stolen from the PML-N in 2018 was taken back. She said the journey of progress would restart from where it had stopped. She said the ‘maal car’ [reference to Farah Khan] would not go to Banigala now. The people of Punjab would get their rights, she added.

PML-N Deputy Secretary Attaullah Tarar said like in the National Assembly ‘the pitch’ was uprooted to stop the election of the chief minister which was condemnable. He said had the PTI coalition had required numbers in the Punjab Assembly it would not have resorted to violence.

PPP Punjab leader Shahzad Saeed Cheema said those involved in the torture of deputy speaker should be held accountable.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2022

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