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Punjab Assembly committee to take up complaint against Chinoy

By: Abdul Manan

LAHORE: The provincial assembly decided on Thursday to refer to its Standing Committee on Women’s Development to probe the allegations that Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy did not fulfill her commitments to an acid attack survivor.

The house decided to summon all stakeholders in the matter to the committee’s next meeting.

The PA session resumed on Thursday at 12:08pm instead of the scheduled time of 10am and was chaired by Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan.

Sajida Mir, a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) member rose a point of order and asked the speaker to form a committee to probe the allegations against Chinoy.

She said Rukhsana Bibi had reconciled with her husband and they were black mailing Chinoy.

Sheikh Alauddin, a Unification Bloc member, on Wednesday had moved an adjournment motion claiming Chinoy had promised Rukhsana Bibi Rs3 million, a home in Multan and free plastic surgery for her face to work in the Oscar winning documentary, Saving Face. The house had expressed sympathy with Rukhsana Bibi and suggested that she move a court.

Mir said, “I appreciate the house’s position but I want to ask: who will punish Rukhsana Bibi’s husband for throwing acid in the first place?”

She then suggested the house form a committee to probe the matter. She said she supported Chinoy’s decision not to provide cash to the woman since it would be used by her husband.

Law Minister Rana Sanaullah agreed that the matter should be referred to the standing committee.

Speaker Rana Mohammad Iqbal Khan forwarded the matter to the committee. When some opposition members said the committee had yet to meet, Sanaullah said a notification would be issued soon and this would be the first matter it takes up.

Bills

Three bills, including The Punjab Motion Pictures (Amendment) Bill 2012, Punjab Metro Bus Authority Bill and Punjab Zakat and Usher Bill were introduced in the house.

They had been referred to standing committees concerned a month ago and had been cleared.

Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, the minister for education, answered questions regarding the department.

The Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability (Amendment) Bill 2011 was passed. The ammendment exempts police officials from proceedings under the law.

Rai Shahjahan, a PPP legislator, said police should not be spared from investigation under the PEEDA act. Rana Sanaullah responded that police officials had complained that the PEEDA had a lengthy process while police had its own disciplinary laws in the Police Order 2002.

The speaker then prorogued the 39th session for an indefinite time period at the opposition’s request.

The Express Tribune

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