Amid the political crisis prevailing in the province, a tussle is also going on in the Punjab Assembly between the custodians of the largest provincial house of the country.
Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari are at loggerheads for over a month since the election for the chief minister was held. It has been learnt that Speaker Elahi has literally made Mazari dysfunctional by using his office smartly. Elahi, who enjoys complete support of the employees of Punjab Assembly as most of them were hired during his tenure, has withdrawn the trustworthy staff of Mazari while replacing them with his own ‘team’.
According to the documents available with Minute Mirror, Speaker transferred around a dozen employees of the deputy speaker. All the trustworthy staff of the deputy speaker has been sidelined by Elahi. According to the documents, Aman Khalid Wain, who was deputed with Mazari for more than three years as his staff officer, has been transferred to the maintenance department. Moreover, spokesperson, assistant protocol officer, personal photographer, senior clerk, computer operator and junior clerk of Deputy Speaker Mazari have been transferred.
The lower staff of the deputy speaker office has also been transferred on the directions of Speaker Elahi. These were the employees who protected Mazari when the MPAs of PTI and PML-Q attacked him when he came to chair the session of Punjab Assembly on the direction of Lahore High Court last month. It seems that they all were punished by Speaker Elahi for providing protection to the deputy speaker. Mazari has rejected the transfer orders of his staff while saying that he was being victimized for obeying the orders of LHC for conducting the CM elections as presiding officer. He also revealed that his family was also threatened at his official residence in Lahore when he was at his constituency in Rajanpur.
The tussle between the speaker and deputy speaker started during the election of chief minister of Punjab. As Elahi was contesting against Hamza Shehbaz for the CM slot, Mazari was the acting speaker. He called the session of Punjab Assembly that was being delayed by Elahi as he was lacking the required number to become CM. It was the point from where a tussle started between Elahi and Mazari. The deputy speaker reached the Punjab Assembly to chair the session but he was denied entry by the security staff deputed there on the directions of Elahi.
Mazari later approached the LHC and he was then allowed entry to his office on the direction of the court. He was also made the presiding officer by the LHC to conduct the election of CM Punjab as Elahi himself was the candidate. When Mazari reached to chair the session on the speaker dais, he was attacked by the MPAs of PTI and PML-Q. Later, he called the police in the house to ensure smooth voting and severe scuffles were witnessed between the police and the MPAs of PTI and PML-Q. Mazari was then dubbed as a PML-N worker by the PTI.
Meanwhile, a statement was issued by the spokesperson of Punjab Assembly in which he said that the staff of the deputy speaker was working with him except for the staff officer, as the post was vacant. The spokesperson shared the list of staff deputed with the deputy speaker.
“The deputy speaker has one staff officer, one private secretary, one personal assistant, one clerk, two telephone operators, two naib-qasids and two drivers,” it said. Interestingly, the spokesperson said that the seat of staff officer was vacant due to the retirement of Muhammad Akbar. The reality is that Akbar was never deputed with Mazari even before his retirement. Akbar was serving as the deputy secretary (Security) before his retirement a few months ago.