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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Punjab Assembly Protest Erupts Over Member Suspensions

Opposition members of the Punjab Assembly staged a protest on Saturday at the assembly gates, raising loud slogans in response to the suspension of 11 of their members. Security personnel barred the suspended members from entering the assembly premises during the session.

Yesterday, Speaker Malik Ahmed Khan suspended the membership of 11 Punjab Assembly members belonging to the Sunni Ittehad Council during the budget session of Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz’s government. The suspension led to uproar, disorder, use of offensive language, and disruption within the assembly.

Speaking to the media, opposition leader Malik Ahmed Khan Bhachar criticized the suspension of their 11 members as unconstitutional. He alleged Speaker Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan’s bias towards the ruling party, which led to the suspension of not just 11 but 107 members.

In response, members of the Sunni Ittehad Council announced they would convene their own session at the central gate of the Punjab Assembly, with 108 opposition members in attendance. Waqas Mann presided over this alternative session, fulfilling the role of Speaker.

On May 9, opposition leader Malik Ahmed Khan Bhachar tabled a resolution to establish a judicial commission in response to the events. He described them as one of the most contentious incidents in the country’s history and called for accountability. The Speaker announced its approval following a vote.

During the session, a majority vote went against Speaker Malik Ahmed Khan’s decision to suspend the 11 members, prompting opposition member Muhammad Na’im to initiate a motion of no-confidence against the Speaker.

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