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PML-N stages walkout from PA over MPAs’ ban

Journalists also stage walkout from Press Gallery against crackdown on ARY News

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday staged a walkout from Punjab Assembly as five of its MPAs were barred from entering the House.

As per reports, five MPAs of PML-N – Rana Mashhood, Mirza Javed, Malik Saif ul Malook Khokhar, Mian Abdul Rauf and Rukhsana Kausar – were not allowed to participate in the proceedings of the House for 15 consecutive days. These MPAs were asked to remain absent from the House proceeding as they were accused of creating ruckus during the election of Speaker Punjab Assembly won by PTI’s Sabtain Khan.

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A notification was issued by Panel Chairman’s member Nawabzada Waseem Khan Badozai who was chairing the House during the election of Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

He said in his order that these five MPAs snatched the ballot book from the polling staff while MPA Rukhsana Kausar tore four ballot papers that day. Strict action against five of its MPAs was rejected by PML-N as the lawmakers staged a walkout from the House in protest. Speaking on the floor of the House on Monday, PML-N senior lawmaker Sardar Awais Laghari said that our five MPAs were barred from entering the House for 15 days by the Presiding Officer of that day as the result of an administrative mistake.

“How can a presiding officer of just one day bar the entry of five respected MPAs for 15 days?” Laghari questioned. He requested the chair to allow these MPAs to participate in the House proceeding. Speaker Sabtain Khan said that he cannot give any ruling in a hurry as he will look into the matter in detail after the session. At this, PML-N staged a walkout from the House while also pointing out the quorum that the treasury failed to meet.

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Earlier in the day, Speaker Sabtain Khan said that the question-hour is the main spirit of assembly proceeding but it is really unfortunate that the House gets the answer with much delay. “The significance of questions is lost when the House receives answers after a long time. A committee will be constituted that will ensure that the House gets the answers on time from the concerned departments,” Speaker said when some MPAs complained about getting the answers to their queries after much delay. The answers related to the Home department were given by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Raja Basharat as Home Minister Hashim Dogar wasn’t present in the House.

Earlier, the journalists also staged a walkout from the Press Gallery against the crackdown on ARY News by the Interior Ministry. They chanted slogans against the government while demanding immediate restoration of ARY News. Speaker constituted a committee consisting of the Spokesperson to Chief Minister Feyaz ul Hassan Chohan and senior PTI lawmaker Ch Zaheer ud Din. Fayyaz Chohan and Parliamentary Secretary Ch Adnan held negotiations with the Press Gallery office-bearers and ensured them that a written resolution will be passed in the House in which the restoration of ARY News will be demanded from the federal government. Later, the House passed a verbal resolution presented by Feyaz Chohan to show solidarity with the ARY employees. The session will resume again on Tuesday (today) afternoon.



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