LAHORE - The recently concluded session of the Punjab Assembly was distinctive compared to the previous ones. It was brief as well as productive.  It was also distinguishing in the sense that it was for the first time since inception of the present legislature that main opposition party, the PTI, did not participate in the assembly proceedings. The reason being that resignations of the PTI legislators are lying with the Speaker for acceptance or otherwise.   

The 10th session lasted only for eight days though the actual sittings were counted as six after exclusion of two weekly holidays. What it did in six days is usually done in 20 days or so. The session had to be prorogued due to advent of the first Islamic month of Moharram.    The most remarkable piece of legislation passed by the provincial legislature was about provision of free and compulsory education to the children from five to 16 years up to 10th level. .

Another significant bill passed by the assembly related to countering of terrorism in the province. It provides for establishing institutional mechanism for the purpose. A provincial security council and provincial strategic coordination board would be set up to carry out the purposes of this legislation.    Through another legislation, the provincial assembly empowered the Election Commission to undertake delimitation of the constituencies and prepare fresh electoral rolls for the upcoming local government elections. A major hitch in holding of local polls now stands removed with the passage of local government bill.  A resolution, carried by the assembly seeking a federal legislation for ensuring implementation on the Principle of Policy as envisioned in Article 37(f) of the Constitution, was no less significant.

It was also during this session that members across the political divide demanded issuance of blue passports for them and the senior assembly staff.