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Pakistan: Punjab Assembly official arrested ahead of Sunday's session

Pakistan: Punjab Assembly official arrested ahead of Sunday's session

Islamabad, May 22 (UNI) A Punjab Assembly official was arrested on Sunday ahead of today's hurriedly called session, Dawn reported.
A spokesperson for the Punjab Assembly confirmed the arrest of Secretary Coordination Rai Mumtaz, claimingt that police officials entered Mumtaz's home after scaling the walls.
He also alleged that police also conducted a raid at the home of Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti and Director General (Parliamentary Affairs & Research) Inayatullah Lak, but were unable to arrest the two.
Speaker Chaudhry Parvez Elahi condemned the police action and claimed that it was being carried out on the orders of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, terming the government's actions "fascist".
There was heavy police deployment outside the assembly gates, equipped with riot control gear.
Elahi challenged the police to arrest MPAs from entering the assembly and directed MPAs to reach the Assembly Secretariat by 12 o'clock. The session is expected to begin half an hour afterwards.
On Saturday, Elahi had rescheduled the assembly session from May 30 to May 22 (Sunday), after 25 dissident PTI MPAs who had voted for Hamza Shehbaz for CM office against their party direction were de-seated by the ECP.
Though no formal agenda was issued till Saturday evening, the actions by Speaker Elahi comes about as the numbers game now suits him for his run-off election as chief minister.
The assembly’s current strength has reduced to 346 members after the de-seating of the 25 MPAs. The PML-N has 165 MPAs of whom five Sharaqpuri group members recently withdrew their support. Besides the backing of its 160 MPAs, the PML-N has seven PPP MPAs, four independents and one Rah-i-Haq Party MPA on its side. This shows PML-N has 172 votes.
On the other hand, Elahi’s PML-Q and his ally PTI have a total strength of 168, but the PTI-PML-Q alliance believes they will get all the five women and minority seats whereas the PML-N claims two reserved seats will come to it.
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