PA passes resolution against Altaf’s demand for army takeover

* Journalists boycott session against termination of workers by a media group
PA passes resolution against Altaf’s demand for army takeover

LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday unanimously passed a condemnation resolution against Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain’s demand for an army takeover in the country.
The House expressed its determination to continue opposing such ideas. The resolution was moved by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed. Meanwhile, a Jamaat-e-Islami legislator suggested the House impose a ban on the MQM, saying it is a terrorist party. 
The resolution stated that the Punjab Assembly shows regret and condemns the statement of Altaf Hussain in which he said, “Army should takeover the government, taking sovereignty into its hands”.
The resolution further stated that the House would also continue its opposition to any such idea of takeover of the government by the military. The treasury benches also supported the resolution, allowing its unanimous passage. The assembly session on Tuesday, which was a private members’ day, was held under the chair of Speaker Rana Iqbal. It started at 3pm, 24 minutes late to its scheduled time. 
The House also passed five other resolutions – one for a ban the toy-pistols, toy-gun and toy-Kalashnikovs, separate room for ladies at all police stations, establishment of Book-Streets, like food-streets, and introduction of basic human rights in textbooks. A resolution against fake private housing societies was also passed by the assembly, suggesting that newspapers must not print any housing society’s advertisement without a certification issued by the authority concerning, like the Lahore Development Authority.
A resolution for the provision of free-of-cost graves in graveyards was also moved by the opposition, but it did not get the support of the treasury. Opposition members Mehmoodur Rasheed and Sadia Sohail Rana provided receipts of graves’ booking from graveyard committees in the House when the government claimed that there was no registration or booking fee for a new grave in any graveyard and all the respective committee are unregistered.
During the session, Press Gallery Committee boycotted the assembly proceedings against termination of 30 journalists from a media group. They also held a protest demonstration in front of assembly building and chanted slogans to restore the journalists in the group again. The Lahore Press Club and Punjab Union of Journalists representatives also participated in the protest. Later, they ended the protest on request of the parliamentary committee constituted by the Speaker.
After that, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said in the House that they (government) had heard complaints of termination or non-payment of salaries from different media houses and unfortunately, there was no any proper platform to address their issues. He said that his government was ready to make legislation on it after talking to representatives of the Punjab Assembly Press Gallery Committee. On this, opposition leader and other legislators also gave him a commitment to support the government if it will bring any bill in this regard.
On a point of order, an opposition member Shunila Ruth raised the issue of nurses on contract basis and who are protesting for their rights. 
The Law Minister ensured the House that the government would resolve the issue of nurses within next week. Later, the Speaker adjourned the session till today (Wednesday) at 10am.

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