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LAHORE: While deadlock persists between the treasury and opposition benches over presentation of Punjab budget 2022-23, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz held the former Prime Minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan as well as Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi responsible for the deadlock, blaming the latter of violating the Constitution.

“We will utilize all legal options to secure our rights,” Hamza said while briefly talking to media on Tuesday.

Hamza maintained that Pervaiz Elahi cannot interfere in his mission of public service and announced that free medicines would be provided in BHUs and THQs hospitals from the 1st of July. Similarly, cancer-related medicines would also be provided free of cost, he added.

The CM stated that the government should be allowed to present the budget. “They (opposition), rather, are demanding that IG police should be subpoenaed. I am sitting here and would wait today again,” he added and commented that they are engaged in political maneuverings.

Answering a question, the CM lamented that the assembly session was summoned and then prorogued. It seems that it is some sort of monarchy, he said and remarked that the Speaker Punjab Assembly was acting like a monarch.

Hamza Shehbaz regretted that the media had been restricted in the Punjab Assembly and wondered who sent goons inside when the deputy speaker chaired the proceedings.

The session of Punjab Assembly called at 1:00 pm Tuesday for the presentation of the budget was delayed till filing of this report due to the obduracy of Speaker Pervaiz Elahi who wants both IG police and chief secretary to come to the Punjab Assembly and tender an apology for registering cases against the PTI and PML-Q activists and leaders, besides wanting from the administrative officers to quash cases against them. But the Punjab government has also become adamant and decided not to give in to the speaker’s demands.

Sources said the CM held a meeting wherein it was decided that neither the IG police nor the chief secretary would go to Punjab Assembly to tender their apology. Rather, the government would consult legal and constitutional experts to find a solution to this problem.

On the other hand, opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly Sibtain Khan wondered as how on earth Tarar could sit in the assembly when he was not an MPA. “The provincial government is to blame for the adjournment of session because it did not summon the officials to the House,” he added.

PTI’s MPA Mian Aslam Iqbal vowed that the opposition would not allow proceedings of the House to continue until the IGP and the chief secretary come to the assembly to offer an apology.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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