AJK LA prorogued

The Legislative Assembly of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) was prorogued sine die less than an hour after it met here on Monday over the quorum issue, created by the visible disinterest of Treasury members.
AJK LA prorogued
File Photo

The Legislative Assembly of Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) was prorogued sine die less than an hour after it met here on Monday over the quorum issue, created by the visible disinterest of Treasury members.

The session was convened by the government to meet a constitutional requirement whereby the assembly must meet once in three months, though the number of sittings has not been specified.

As the house, presided over by speaker Sardar Ghulam Sadiq, started proceedings, around nine members were seen on the Treasury and as many as 12, mostly from the PML-N, on the Opposition benches.

However, soon, all except three Treasury members slipped away.

Responding to a short-notice question by leader of the Opposition, Raja Farooq Haider that how much funds had been recently re-appropriated by the government, Law Minister, Azhar Hussain Gillani said he could furnish the answer in 3-4 days.

An angry leader of the Opposition regretted that the proceedings of the House were being given least interest, which did not augur well for the system.

He said both sides of the divide were responsible for this sorry state of affairs.

However, his deputy, Chaudhry Tariq Farooq, disagreed with him when he said the Opposition had wholeheartedly participated in the proceedings from the day one and contrarily, the Treasury members that had always made a mockery of legislature.

He alleged that some Ministers had taken it on themselves to stay away from the sessions or avoid questions from Opposition, thus proving that they were not answerable to the House.

His was a sarcastic reference to Zardari House Islamabad, which has been pulling the strings of PaK government over the last five years.

Imitating the rulers, the bureaucracy had also developed an unfortunate trait of looking towards the same house for directions, he added.

Farooq said it was ironical that people used to spend millions of rupees to return to the Assembly but would not attend its sessions.

Accusing the Treasury of "establishing shameful traditions over the last five years" he also lambasted the Speaker for "favouritism and other corrupt practices."

Haider again took floor and pointed out that Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed was witnessing the proceedings from his chamber next door, but not attending the proceedings, which spoke volumes about intentions of the regime.

When Sardar Mir Akbar Khan, a former Muslim Conference (MC) MLA who has recently switched over to PML-N, took floor to explain his position in the wake of a reference filed against him by his former party, two out of three MC legislators also left the house.

In the meanwhile, MQM's Tahir Khokhar, after hearing a whisper from information minister Abid Hussain Abid, stood up and pointed out lack of quorum.

Though Khokhar and another MQM lawmaker also sit on Opposition benches after they were removed from cabinet after an "anti-state" speech by Altaf Hussain in August last year, they, however, continue to enjoy some privileges with the courtesy of the government.

On this, bells were rung and session was adjourned for 15 minutes. When the House met again, the quorum was still incomplete following which the speaker prorogued the session sine die, ignoring calls from opposition to adjourn it until tomorrow.

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