Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Parliamentary Cretinism - Part II

If you thought Punjab under the Sharifs was a model of serious legislative work, think again. This story from Dawn today made me laugh out loud, only because what else can one do? (Here, by the way, is the earlier story I had done about parliamentary cretinism.)

The operative parts of the story, well-titled " MPAs at 'self-serving best' "  are copied below for your convenience:

"Members of the Punjab Assembly were at their “self-serving best” when they, in two different resolutions on Tuesday, demanded memberships of the Lahore Gymkhana and administrative powers of the department for the ministers, respectively.
Both resolutions were pended by the speaker on different grounds till next session, but it did not deter the movers to keep pressing in favour of their resolutions. With their over-riding wish for the membership of the elite club on Upper Mall, the mover sacrificed rationality.
Dr Asad Asharaf, of the PML-N, moved the membership resolution, telling the house that the club was “constructed on a piece of land which belongs to the poor people of Punjab.” Since this house represented the poor of the province, its members be given the membership of the club.
The membership of the club was “restricted to the kingmaker elite, depriving the elected representatives.” In the federal capital, members of the National Assembly were given the membership of Islamabad Club, he insisted."

Poor Dr Asad Ashraf's (top) Gymkhana ambitions have been kept pending by Rana Sanaullah (below)

You have to admire the shameless audacity of the PML-N MPA' s argument. May be that's what his doctorate degree is in: Doctorate in Audacity. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah (who recently defended his publicly befriending members of banned jihadi outfits to get votes in Jhang) promised to take up the matter with the Gymkhana management.

"As if it was not enough, another treasury member stood up to demand that the entire cabinet be given “administrative control of their departments”. Rana Sana again had to chime in to get the resolution pended, saying the resolution involved “administrative re-arrangements that only the Punjab government could decide”. Feasibility of the demand must be checked before making it, lest one wants to keep on making “impractical demands,” he added." 

Never ones to shy away from diligent legislative cretinism, however, the MPAs pressed on:

"The members also locked their horns over “whether the animals and birds’ fights during different local festivals be banned or not?” Someone pointed out that there was already a law, called Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 1890, and any resolution on this account would show as if there was no law on the subject. The members should fully assess an issue before framing a resolution, the minister demanded.  But the movers insisted that resolution must be carried, which was opposed by a majority of the house.

 Bhatti sahib of Gujar Khan: won't take home a DVD of 3 Idiots for his wife no more

Shaukat Aziz Bhatti wanted a resolution “condemning the Indian neglect of Pakistani cricket players in its premier league. The Indians have exhibited their traditional anti-Islam prejudice and it must be condemned with full force.” The Pakistanis must boycott Indian goods, he demanded and the house agreed to it."

That's your taxes at work, folks.

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