LAHORE - The Punjab Assembly witnessed usual scene of pending most of the resolutions of public interest due to absence of ministers on private members day on Tuesday.

The opposition staged a token walkout from the House to protest against remarks of Minister for Information and Culture Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan against Hindu community.

Out of 17 resolutions of public interest, 12 were pended due to absence of ministers like on the previous two private members days. Like the previous occasions, Deputy Speaker Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari expressed anger over lack of interest on the part of ministers. He suggested Law Minister Raja Basharat to take up the issue with the chief minister and use the option of stopping salaries of ministers continuing the practice of staying away from proceedings relating to their departments in future.

Out of five resolutions taken up on the day, one was passed unanimously while the remaining four were rejected by the House.

The House unanimously adopted the resolution moved by PML-N’s Safdar Shakar that demanded inscribing Kalima Tayyaba on the main entrance gate of the Punjab Assembly like on the building of the Parliament. The House rejected the resolution of Ali Akhtar that demanded declaring dual carriageways leading to Faisalabad toll free. The resolution of Manazar Hussain Ranjha demanding withdrawal of decision of charging interest of loan taken by Nepra on electricity bills and that of Mussarat Jamshed Cheema demanding waiving import duty on biodegradable bags got the same fate.

The House also voted out the resolution of Iftikhar Hussain that demanded making the cellular companies duty bound to provide coverage in areas where mobile phone service was not available.

Two resolutions each of Khadija Umar and Safdar Shakir and one each of Neelam Hayat Malik, Shawana Bashir, Saadia Sohail Rana, Zohra Naqvi, Shahida Ahmed, Farah Agha, Muneeb Sultan Cheema and Hina Pervaiz Butt were pended due to absence of relevant ministers.

Earlier, PML-N’s Khalil Tahir Sandhu drew attention of the House toward impropriate remarks of Information minister against the Hindu community. He said that controversial remarks were against the constitution and national flag. He said that attitude of important office holder has damaged harmony and image of Pakistan in the comity of nations.

PPP’s Hassan Murtaza said that his party has principled stance on minorities. He said that Hindus have been given tickets for contesting elections on general seats. In addition to that, he said, a low caste Hindu lady has been elected in the upper house.

PML-N’s Rana Muhammad Iqbal said that one should think before talking about minorities. He said that the constitution has provided equal rights to the minorities. He said that Quaid-e-Azam had made it clear that all citizens were equal regardless of religion or caste. He demanded the minister to tender apology on the floor of the House and immediately resigns from the office.

Minister for Prosecution Chaudhry Zaheer-ud-Din seconded the viewpoint of the Opposition, saying the statement of the minister was contrary to the policy of the PTI and the government.

The Opposition staged a token walkout for five minutes.

On completion of agenda, the chair adjourned the session till Wednesday (today) at 11am.