Treasury tries to defuse Basra’s torture issue
LAHORE, Feb 26: The treasury managed to prevent the opposition from creating a scene over Shaukat Basra’s torture issue during the Punjab Assembly session here on Tuesday.
The session had been requisitioned by the Pakistan People’s Party to discuss torture of Mr Basra by police when the legislator went to Services Hospital to show solidarity with protesting young doctors, early this month.
At the onset of the proceedings, PML-N MPA Tahir Khalil Sindhu chided interior minister Rehman Malik for his criticism of Punjab government for failing to launch a comprehensive crackdown on banned outfits.
Sindhu’s remarks enraged the opposition members, prompting the chair to expunge the comments.
The house had hardly recovered from the chaos, when PPP MPA Syed Hasan Murtaza raised Mr Basra’s torture issue through a point of order and sought a house committee to probe into the incident.
The MPA was interrupted first by parliamentary secretary for tourism Rana Arshad and then by Dr Ghazala Rana of the PML-N.
Dr Rana said Mr Basra should present a medico-legal report to establish the fact that he had been seriously injured by police. She literally talked the PPP lawmaker down as he left the house for a while.
To her persistent demand for a medical certificate, Basra remarked that she should be sent to a mental hospital.
This added to the prevailing disorder as a couple of more women treasury members joined Dr Rana, raising slogans and demanding an apology from the PPP MPA for his remarks.
The mayhem continued for about 20 minutes when Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal restored order in the house and placated Dr Rana by expunging Basra’s comment.
PPP’s seasoned parliamentarian Ashraf Sohna recalled torture of Rana Sanaullah when the law minister was in opposition during PML-Q government and lauded Sana’s role at that time. This, however, could not be digested by Q League’s Samina Khawar Hayat as she chipped in by saying Sana deserved the beating as he had used filthy language. She recalled that Rana Sanaullah had used dirty words even against Ms Kulsoom Nawaz when he was in the PPP.
Unaffected by Samina’s interruption, Sohna said he did not demand suspension of the SP or SHO who had tortured Mr Basra but hoped the law minister would tender an apology himself to the PPP lawmaker.
Sana, however, played it cool by just staring at Sohna and not rising to respond to his former colleague.
LHC BENCHES: The law minister told the house that high court benches at Faisalabad and Sargodha would be established simultaneously.
The minister said this responding to a PML-N MPA from Khushab who had deplored that Faisalabad was being promised an LHC bench, ignoring Sargodha where lawyers were on a strike for the same facility.
The speaker prorogued the house sine die when Shaikh Alauddin pointed out lack of quorum and ringing of bells for five minutes could not bring the 94 MPAs back into the house as required by the rules.