Deadlock persists as Punjab Assembly budget session delayed again
CM Hamza blames Imran Khan, Ch Pervaiz Elahi for commotion in assembly, refuses to be blackmailed at speaker’s hands: Punjab govt decides IGP and CS won’t tender apology: US consul general meets Elahi
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Fingers are crossed whether the PMLN-led coalition government in Punjab could be able to present its budget for the next fiscal 2022-23 in the assembly today (Tuesday) as the house is not in session yet, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Not a single member has reached the assembly even after a delay of 2 hours. The bells in the building are tolling for summoning the members but it seems nobody is paying heed to it.
The session of Punjab Assembly which was called at 1pm today (Tuesday) for the presentation of the budget still hit the delay due to the obduracy of Speaker Pervaiz Elahi who wants both IG police and chief secretary to come to the Punjab Assembly and tender an apology for registering cases against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Muslim League-Q activists and leaders, besides wanting from the administrative officers to quash cases against them.
But the Punjab government has also become adamant and decided not to give in to the speaker’s demands.
A meeting presided over by Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz held earlier today to deliberate on the matter. The chief minister was of the view that the provincial government would not be blackmailed at the hands of Speaker Pervaiz Elahi.
The meeting decided that neither the IG police nor the chief secretary would go to Punjab Assembly to tender their apology. Rather, the government would consult with legal and constitutional experts to find a solution to this problem.
While talking to media, PML-N leader Rana Mashhood said that the budget was to be presented for 120 million people of the province and presenting and passing it through the assembly was the responsibility of the speaker and the house.
On the other hand, a negotiating committee comprising members of government and opposition parties is trying to find some solution.
Meanwhile, Punjab government spokesman and provincial minister Attaullah Tarar whose presence in the assembly yesterday was objected, and led to the adjournment of the session, has again reached the Punjab Assembly to attend the expected budget session today.
The Punjab Assembly session was convened yesterday (Monday) for the presentation of the budget but Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi prorogued the session till today (Tuesday) after making it clear that he would not allow the budget to be presented until and unless the Punjab IGP and chief secretary showed up in the assembly to apologize to the PTI MPAs for raiding their homes and violating the privacy of their families.
And when the PML-N-led Punjab government remained adamant and did not summon the officials, the speaker adjourned the session.
Ruckus is expected at the provincial assembly’s session even today.
So much so that he even ordered the sergeant-at-arms to whisk Tarar away from the assembly. Tarar, on the other hand, also showed obstinacy and refused to leave, which led the PA speaker to suspend the session temporarily and another one hour and 10 minutes were wasted in the process.
Seeing that the assembly’s proceedings could not continue so long as he was there, Tarar preferred to leave.
But the speaker still refused to resume the session, saying it had been agreed in the negotiations between the government and the opposition that the IGP and the chief secretary would apologize before the commencement of the session.
Later, talking to the media Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz held former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan as well as Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi responsible for the deadlock, accusing the latter of violating the constitution. “We will utilize all legal options to secure our rights,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Ataullah Tarar called both the PTI MPAs and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi ‘conspirators’.
He said categorically that the opposition’s dream to humiliate the IGP as well as the chief secretary by making them apologize to them would never come true.
Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly, PTI’s Sibtain Khan did not remain silent either and asked as how on earth Tarar could sit in the assembly when he was not an MPA. “The provincial government is to blame for the adjournment of today’s session because it did not summon the officials to the House,” he added.
PTI’s Mian Aslam Iqbal vowed that the opposition would not allow proceedings of the House to continue until and unless the IGP and the chief secretary came to the assembly to offer an apology.
US consul general meets Elahi
They held a discussion on matters of mutual interests.
Reporter Ali Akbar