LAHORE - The unrest in Faisalabad over the killing of a PTI worker also echoed in the Punjab Assembly on Monday as the Opposition castigated the government for its mishandling of the situation.

The Opposition staged a token walkout from the assembly when Speaker Rana Iqbal tried to hush up the matter by not allowing the members to speak on the unfortunate incident.

Following the question hour, Waqas Mokal of PML-Q was the first lawmaker to raise this issue on a point of order. He started the debate by saying that it was a matter of grave concern that a person lost his life and a few received injuries as the law-enforcement agencies could not forestall the incident. Mokal blamed the government for the happening, saying it was not paying heed to just demands of the PTI on the election rigging.

The speaker did not allow him to speak any further, citing the assembly rules of procedure which, according to him, did not permit debate on the subject in such a manner. Mokal walked out of the assembly in protest against what he called biased conduct of the speaker.

Khadija Omer of PML-Q also criticised the government for its failure to handle the situation. She was of the view that the government had not learnt any lesson from the Model Town incident. The speaker interrupted her and asked her to sit down. Khadija also walked out of the house for not being allowed to speak.

Dr Wasim Akhtar of Jamaat-e-Islami criticised the government for its inability to resolve the political crisis. He said the conflict was adversely affecting the routine life of the people, but the government did not appear to be serious to sort out the problem with PTI.

The speaker intervened again, silencing the JI legislator on the same pretext.

Dr Wasim Akhtar also resorted to walkout and rest of the Opposition members followed him. They, however, retuned to the house after some time when the speaker sent some treasury members to bring them in.

The issue of growers not getting the fixed price for sugarcane also came up for discussion on the assembly floor. Aleem Shah of PML-N told the chair that sugar mill owners were not purchasing sugarcane from the farmers at the rate of Rs 180 per 40kg as fixed by the government. He demanded of the government to ensure purchase of sugarcane at the official rate. Some agriculturist members of the assembly also endorsed his point. Accepting their plea, the speaker fixed the coming Monday as the day to hold debate on the issues related to agriculture.

Monday’s assembly sitting lasted one hour and 10 minutes only. Most of the questions on the energy and mines & mineral department which were on Monday’s agenda of question hour were disposed of without any debate as the movers were absent from the house.

The government tabled one bill and an ordinance for adoption and the speaker referred them to the standing committees concerned for recommendations. They included: The Parks and Horticulture Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2014, and The Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute and Research Centre Ordinance, 2014.