6,200 schools closed in 31 districts of Punjab

Punjab Assembly

LAHORE: The Punjab government closed 6,200 operational schools in 31 districts, while an illiterate person had been appointed as adviser to the chief minister, the Punjab Assembly was informed on Monday.

A treasury member, Sheikh Allaudin, while moving an adjournment motion, informed the House that government had closed 6,200 schools in 31 districts in March this year. He said 248,000 students, including girls belonging to poor families, were studying in these schools and by this decision they had been forced to quit education.The 39th session of the Punjab Assembly, which was called on the requisition of the opposition, started one hour and 48 minutes late than its schedule time under the chairmanship of Speaker Rana Iqbal.

Soon after recitation from the holy Quran and the Naat, the House offered fateha for the victims of Rasool Park and Gujrat terrorist attacks as well as for the late father of Naeem Khan, an MPA from Vehari.Later, opposition leader in the House Raja Riaz of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), on a point of order, criticised Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for his acts like holding camps and protest rallies against the federal government. He said that the chief minister had given the future of education in the hands of an illiterate man named Khizar Hayat Hiraj who had been appointed as his adviser.

At one point when the opposition leader was criticising the CM, a treasury member, Dr Ghazala Rana, started chanting, and in response Raja Riaz disclosed that she was interested in a job at the Aitchison College. Dr Ghazala protested against the remarks, demanding apology from him but the speaker ignored her and Raja Riaz continued his speech. However, the PML-N’s Rana Arshad on a point of order said that opposition had a “Shahbaz Sharif phobia”.

The Punjab Assembly also adopted an hour-long question hour in which provincial Minister Iqbal Channar replied different questions relating to the Prisons Department but all the members, especially the opposition, remained unsatisfied with his answers. The minister said that around 14 new jails were near completion in different districts of the province.

During the question hour, it was also pointed out that there were more than a dozen prisoners who had completed their sentences or could be released on bail after paying some amount, but they did not have money to secure their release.An opposition member, Ahsanul Haq Naulatia, informed the House that a prisoner had been in jail for the last 19 months for stealing Rs 1,500.In the meantime, opposition legislator Sajida Mir pointed out lack of quorum and forced the speaker to adjourn the session until today (Tuesday). – Dailytimes