No-trust against speaker disposed of before Treasury MPAs’ arrival

Faizan Bangash & Ali Raza
Monday, May 23, 2022

LAHORE: The controversial Punjab Assembly session, summoned on Sunday, continued for a few minutes only and was adjourned after the no-confidence motion against Speaker Pervaiz Elahi was disposed of in the absence of the PMLN and PPP MPAs.

Meanwhile, the passage to the House as well as the doors of the Assembly remained closed, apparently to stop the treasury MPAs' entry to the PA.

The PMLN, PPP and the allied parties alleged on Sunday that Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had laid siege to the PA with the help of un-elected persons to prevent the entry of the ruling alliance's MPAs to the house.

However, on the same day, a no-confidence motion against Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was re-submitted in the PA Secretariat by the PMLN and PPP MPAs jointly. MPAs Samiullah Khan of PMLN, Shazia Abid of PPP, Khalil Tahir Sindhu, Mirza Javaid of PMLN and others signed the motion.

The PA session, chaired by MPA Nawabzada Wasim Khan Badozai, a member of the panel of chairpersons, was adjourned till June 6. PA Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had summoned the session overnight, allegedly to quash the no-confidence motion against him. The PMLN also alleged that the session was summoned to administer oath to five MPAs of the PTI on reserved seats. But it could not be done as the final list of such members could only be issued after elections on the vacant Punjab Assembly seats. In case the PMLN wins the major chunk of seats, it would have a major share of the reserved seats.

Large police contingents were deployed outside the assembly to bar the members from entering the premises. The PTI and PMLN MPAs came face-to-face outside the Punjab Assembly and chanted vociferous slogans against each other. PPP parliamentary leader and would-be senior minister in Punjab cabinet Syed Hassan Murtaza also protested strongly against the decision of Punjab government to deploy police outside the PA and stopping the members and the assembly staff from entering the premises.

On the other hand, Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, the PTI MPA, grilled Hassan Murtaza for misleading the nation and stated he (Murtaza) was himself part of the present government. It is noteworthy that the Punjab Assembly speaker, in a sudden move, summoned the PA session on May 22, while altering the previous date of the assembly sitting, which was May 30. The agenda of the session was not disclosed and it was revealed later that the session was called to dispose of the no-confidence move against the speaker.

The Punjab government, which is led by Hamza Shehbaz, also went ahead with a retaliatory move to stop Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi from chairing the session. However, the doors of the assembly were opened and session started with a delay of nearly three hours with Nawabzada Wasim Badozai in the chair.

PMLN legislator Samiullah Khan, while talking to the media, strongly condemned the Punjab Assembly speaker for bulldozing the Rules of the House. He stated that the decision on the no-confidence move against the speaker was made in the absence of the parties that moved it.

PMLN Deputy General Secretary Ataullah Tarar told the media outside the Punjab Assembly that the House was occupied by un-elected persons.

Syed Hassan Murtaza of the PPP said it was not a personal fight with anyone; it was a fight for supremacy of the Parliament. “We will free the House from irrelevant people,” he added.

Malik Ahmad Khan said, “We are peaceful people and our protest is peaceful. We have the right to protest, as they have deployed their men in black uniforms at the gates of the assembly”.

Ataullah Tarar said: “No notification has been issued yet to de-seat the dissident members of the PTI. We have the majority of 197 members in the Provincial Assembly,” he claimed adding that a no-confidence motion has been filed against the Speaker PA Ch Pervaiz Elahi, but no action was being taken against him.

Earlier, the PMLN and the allied parties strongly condemned the undemocratic measures taken by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PMLQ) to stop development of the province and prevent the government from fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities.

A joint meeting of the PMLN parliamentary party and allies was held under the chairmanship of Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, here on Sunday. The meeting unanimously passed a resolution, expressing full confidence in Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz. As many as 170 MPAs of the PMLN attended the meeting. The two absent party MPAs were Chaudhry Naseer and Jugnoo Mohsin. The PPP MPAs and Independents participated in the meeting. The resolution was moved by MPA Rana Mashhood Ahmed and was supported by all members.

The resolution said it was unconstitutional for Speaker Pervaiz Elahi not to abide by the time-frame given in the Constitution and to stop the motion of no-confidence against him. In the resolution, presented in the meeting, Hamza Shehbaz expressed his no-confidence in Speaker Punjab Assembly Pervaiz Elahi, saying it was illegal and unconstitutional for the speaker to continue in his post.

The resolution also strongly condemned Imran Khan's statement about Maryam Nawaz, saying the former premier fostered a culture of rudeness and immorality in politics.

The meeting appreciated the pro-people initiative of CM Hamza to provide cheap flour to people of the province. PMLN leader Ataullah Tarar and Punjab Assembly Member Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan also addressed the meeting.

Addressing the joint parliamentary party meeting, CM Punjab Hamza Shehbaz said, “We will act according to the law and Allah Almighty will lend us help in this regard." He said that games and jugglery could not hinder their course of action, adding that the end to the games was quite close now.

The CM said, “We performed our duties, served the masses and people will vote for us in view of our track record”. He said serving the masses had been recognition of the PMLN. He promised that he would fulfill all his commitments made with the allies. He promised that he would himself go to masses and ask for votes for those who had sided with him. He said Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif had ordered him to fulfill the commitments being made with the Assembly members.

Hamza denounced that the Punjab Assembly speaker had been acting like a servant of Imran Niazi instead of the custodian of the House. He said chief ministership was offered to Pervaiz Elahi, but he made himself the laughing stock.

The CM lamented that Imran Niazi, instead of giving one crore jobs, rendered crores of people unemployed. He disclosed that the government was going to restart provision of free cancer medicines programme, adding that he would also ensure provision of other medicines.

Meanwhile, PMLN Punjab Information Secretary Azma Bukhari said Imran Khan's statement was condemnable. “Imran Khan was starting wrong trends as working women in Pakistan were already facing problems.”

Talking to the media at the Punjab Assembly, she said no woman in Pakistan would want father, son and brother like Imran Khan. She warned that if Imran Khan would cross the red line, he would have to face the consequences and the PMLN would make public his stories. She said Imran Khan was trying to benefit from Peshawar, but he would not succeed.