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    Posted June 24, 2014 by
    Lahore, Pakistan

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    Rana Sana — martyr to treasury, culprit to opposition

    LAHORE: Using what in parliamentary jargon is called ‘guillotine’ at around 6pm on Monday, the speaker snapped the discussion and rushed through the rest of budgetary demands for grants to complete approval of 43 of them.

    The House had already taken up and debated some allocations like those made for police, health, education and agriculture in the last two days.

    All cut motions moved by the Opposition were rejected anyway, even in those demands where full debate took place. Even on Monday, the Opposition pleaded that their point of view should at least be listened to, if not implemented.

    “The education sector is getting Rs273 billion but is it sufficient to perfunctorily allocate and draw political mileage out of it”, wondered a woman Opposition member.

    “The government needs to come up with its priorities and spend money accordingly. Otherwise, it would only be wasting funds. It promised last year to provide all missing facilities in schools, but has not achieved the much-trumpeted feast. As long as education remains a lucrative business, the government might not be able to achieve much. It must create a uniform system of education in the province and invest in it,” she said.

    Earlier, Rana Mashhood, who had taken over as law minister replacing Rana Sanaullah, came to the House amid heavy desk thumping. He immediately took the mike and read a eulogy for his predecessor, listing his sacrifices for democracy, rule of law and the party (PML-N).

    “He (Rana Sana) has left behind such a shining example, it would be hard for me to follow,” he told the House. He dispelled the impression that the former law minister resigned because of his role in the Model Town killings.

    “He stepped aside only to facilitate the process of law. He wanted to go to the judicial commission as a common man, not as a minister. His services need to be commended, not condemned,” Rana Mashhood emphasised.

    The Opposition, however, did not agree. “He (Rana Sana) quit because it was proven that he led the police to the killing spree,” insisted Mian Mehmoodur Rashid of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

    He said instead of eulogising and cheering the former law minister, the Treasury should have its sobering moments and reflect on what went wrong and why? Only then it would be able prevent such tragedies in future, he added.

    “I came to the House to inform it at 11.30am on June 17 that violence was going on in Model Town; the police killed people after that. If the House knew, the media was screaming from the rooftop and the House was debating the issue before actual killings, how come the chief minister remained unaware of it. It is time to accept the responsibility and move ahead.

    The CM is guilty and he better accept it,” he concluded.The chair asked Mr Mehmood to return to cut motions and be part of the proceedings rather than digressing from the agenda. However, as soon as the Opposition returned to demand for grants, ‘guillotine’ was resorted to and the proceedings concluded quickly, to start afresh from Tuesday morning.

    Published in Dawn, June 24th , 2014
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