Opposition demands local bodies’ restoration as per apex court verdict

LAHORE   -   Opposition legislators in the Punjab Assembly on Friday demanded restoration of local governments in the province in light with the Apex Court verdict.

The PA session started almost three hours behind the scheduled time with Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari in the chair. Answers, related to the Local Government and Community Development Department, were given by Parliamentary Secretary Ahmad Khan Bhachar.

On a point of order, former PA Speaker and senior PML-N leader Rana Iqbal raised the issue of not implementing the Apex Court order regarding restoration of local governments. He urged the government to restore the local governments directly elected by the people. “There are 58,000 elected representatives of public and the Supreme Court has also given directions to restore them. But the incumbent government isn’t obeying its orders,” he said while giving warning to the government that delay would be contempt of court. Earlier, the same issue was raised by PML-N’s Iftikhar Chhachhar during the question-hour but he was asked to submit a fresh question for getting detailed answer.

PML-N’s Samiullah Khan also demanded restoration of local governments after the detailed judgment of Supreme Court. Speaking on a point of order, he said that elected representatives of the people were not restored despite the fact that the top court has given the verdict two months back. He said that Nawaz Sharif government was sent home by then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1993 but later was restored by the Apex Court. “If a Prime Minister can be restored in light of the judgment of the Apex  Court then why a councilor cannot be restored,” he questioned. He said that Law Minister had given assurance of introducing new local government system in the province. “But still local governments are without public representatives”, he said while suggesting the Law Minister to say something. But Law Minister preferred to remain silent.

During Zero-Hour, PML-N’s Manazar Ranjha said that the incidents of ransom are at peak in his constituency of Sargodha. Replying to the issue, Raja Basharat said that 38 FIRs had been registered against the gang making unknown calls to the citizens for ransom in Sargodha and other areas of the province. He said that the gang’s ring-leader has been traced abroad and red warrants had been issued for his arrest while the identity cards of 21 accused of anonymous calls had also been blocked through modern technology.

Replying to Pakistan People’s Party MPA Syed Hassan Murtaza, Raja Basharat said that according to the investigations so far, former MPA Shahaan Hakimeen Malik was murdered by his nephew. “I assure that Shahaan Malik’s killers will be punished according to law. After the martyrdom of Benazir Bhutto, the PPP had its own government for five years but the killers were not arrested and the PPP workers are still chanting slogans. ‘Bibi, we are ashamed. Your killers are alive.’ However, our government is rying as much as possible,” he added.  On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till Monday afternoon.

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