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April 17, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. Hamza elected amid unprecedented brawl
• The Punjab Assembly on April 16, 2022 descended into chaos, which quickly turned into outright violence, leaving many injured, including Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, but eventually managed to elect Hamza Shehbazasthe21stleaderof the House after law enforcement agencies took control of the assembly hall.
• Mr Shehbaz bagged 197 votes, including from 24 Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) dissidents, two independents and the lone Rahi-Haq Party MPA. The PTIPML-Q candidate, Parvez Elahi, did not get any vote, as lawmakers from both ruling parties boycotted the session.
• It was pandemonium in the House from the get-go, as PTI and PML-Q MPAs entered the hall carrying plastic water pots (lota) shouting slogans of `Lotay` (turncoats), `Loton per laanat` (curse on turncoats), `Amreeka ka jo yaar hai, ghaddar hai` (Whoever is a US supporter is a traitor), `Laiker aao speaker ko` (Bring in the speaker).
2. NA empowers speaker to form panel on poll reforms
• The National Assembly on April 16, 2022 authorised newly-elected Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf to constitute a parliamentary committee on electoral reforms with the directive to complete the task within three months as the members belonging to the ruling coalition one after the other in their speeches after the installation of the new government piled up their demands before Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, terming them as `big challenges` for him.
• Pakistan Peoples Party`s (PPP) Pervaiz Ashraf, who was administered the oath by Ayaz Sadiq of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) as the new speaker after being elected unopposed, in his first order directed the NA Secretariat to present before him the case of the en masse resignations of 123 MNAs of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), asking them to look into the matter in light of the past rulings of the chair and precedents
3. LHC declares tax recovery through utility bills illegal
• The Lahore High Court has ruled that the recovery of tax arrears through utility bills is unlawful, terming this practice highly deprecated.
• `The special procedure, ibid, is silent about recovery of a tax which is not charged by a distribution company against supply of natural gas,` Justice Shahid Jamil Khan observes in a decision on petitions of several industries.
• The industries approached the court against charging tax arrears in utility bills for natural gas against a column titled `Aging/Arrears`.
• The counsel for the petitioners argued that the recovery of arrears was illegal in the absence of any prescribed procedure and determination of tax
4. AJK president summons assembly session tomorrow to elect PM
• Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Barrister Sultan Mahmood on April 16, 2022 summoned the Legislative Assembly session to meet at 10:30am on Monday (tomorrow) to conduct election for the new leader of the house.
• The announcement was made by him `in the light of` an order of the AJK Supreme Court delivered earlier in the day, according to a press release from his office.
• On Friday, while taking up a petition by the opposition leaders, the AJK High Court had restrained the assembly speaker and others from any proceedings regarding the election of the prime minister until Monday.
• An appeal against the High Court order was heard by the Supreme Court on Saturday
5. President accepts resignation of Governor Shah Farman
• President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi has accepted the resignation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman.
• After acceptance of the resignation, Mr Farman has shifted from the Governor`s House, an official told.
• `Under Article 101(4) of the Constitution of Pakistan, the president accepted the resignation tendered by Shah Farman from the office of Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with effect from April 15, 2022,` read a notification issued by the Cabinet Division on Saturday (April 16).
• The notification further stated that the speaker of the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakthunkhwa shall perform the functions of governor till the appointment of a new governor
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