KARACHI - The Sindh Assembly witnessed ruckus and trading of allegations between the MQM and the PPP lawmakers, turning the House into fish market on Friday.
The protest with chanting of slogans by the MQM MPAs during the question-hour pertaining to the education department compelled the Chair to adjourn the proceedings for 10 minutes. But chair after resuming the seat of brief break, without taking any agenda listed in the order of the day, adjourned the house till Monday.
The proceedings of the House was running smoothly as Sindh Education Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro was replying to the supplementary queries of the members during question-hour pertained to his department.
Khuhro informed the House that a large number of bogus/fake appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff were made in the education department in Karachi. His department withheld the salaries of such employees and suspended 12 officers of the education department who were found guilty in excessive than sanctioned strength recruitment.
As the suspended officers approached the Sindh High Court, which issued stay order in their favour, but government had not given postings to them so far despite the stay order, he said. Now the education department has decided to remove all the 12 officers who were found guilty in fake appointment in the education department.
Following the reply of the minister, a lawmaker Khalid Ahmed of MQM put a lengthy question. He asked the minister why these 12 officers of the education department were not dismissed from the services, who found guilty. In his emotional tone, he said these incompetent and fake appointments were made through murdering the merit, but present government, by suspending the services, has given relief to the guilty officers.
Khuhro advised the MQM’s lawmaker not to call the people of Sindh incompetent. He reminded that military dictator had also called the people of Sindh incompetent so we urged the MQM lawmakers not to repeat the words of the dictator.
The MQM MPAs stood on their seats in protest against the reply of the senior minister.
They clarified that they did not call the people of Sindh incompetent but the minister twisted the fact of fake appointments by politicising the education. All MPAs of the MQM continued their protest with chanting of slogans, which turned the proceedings of the elected House into fish market.
Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, who was chairing the proceedings, repeatedly instructed the protesting lawmakers from the MQM to sit down. At the same time, the MPAs especially the women lawmakers from the ruling PPP also stood on their seats as the House witnessed noise of allegations from the two sides.
The Chair repeatedly called upon the protesting MQM MPAs that if they are not interested to take part in the proceeding, they can go out of the House otherwise they should maintain the decorum to listen the reply of the education minister.
In the meantime, senior minister Nisar Khuhro repeated his brief statement, saying that he stick to his words by advising the MQM’s friends not to call the people of Sindh incompetent. The MQM lawmakers again stood on their seats, protesting in chorus, demanding the government of Sindh to stop murdering merit and end enmity with the education.
Even the opposition leader of MQM Faisal Sabzwari and Information Minister Sharjeel Memon made attempts to speak amid protest which went into vain. Deputy Speaker warned the protesting MPA to sit down to listen to the reply of education minister otherwise she will adjourn the proceedings but her instructions went into vain. Later, the Chair adjourned the House for 10 minutes.
During the brief recess, the PPP and MQM leaders met each other in lobby to develop consensus to maintain order in the House.
On resuming the proceedings of the House, PML-N’s Parliamentary leader Irfanullah Marwat urged the Chair to adjourn the proceedings as they had to go to offer Friday prayer. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro supported the suggestion of PML-N’s MPA, saying that no one can oppose the suggestion for adjourning the House for offering of Friday prayer.
Later, the Chair adjourned the House to meet again on Monday.
Earlier, the House came in order at 11:25am with Speaker Agha Siraj Ahmed Durrani in the chair.
After prayers for the victims, MQM parliamentary leader Sardar Ahmed drew the attention of the treasury over the alleged discrimination with the opposition MPAs in development schemes initiated by the government under ‘Tameer-e-Pakistan Programme’ in the province.
Sardar Ahmed said not discussing the development and non-development budget of the province for this year in the House, the government has committed the violation of rules of procedures of the provincial assembly. He said despite issuing letters to all the MPAs to identify the development schemes in their constituencies, the PPP government was discriminating with the opposition MPAs especially to the MQM as funds were still not released for their development schemes.
MPAs from the opposition benches including MQM, PTI and PML-F took up the same issue. They alleged that funds were being released for the development schemes identified by the MPAs of government side but no funds were released for the development schemes of the opposition MPAs which is a discrimination of the government.
Opposition leader Faisal Sabzwari and other MPAs of the MQM alleged that PPP government has singled out and ignored Karachi and Hyderabad in development schemes. He advised the government to avoid ignoring the big cities in development work.
PPP leader and Senior Education Minister, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro rejected the allegations of the MQM MPAs for ignoring Karachi and Hyderabad, saying the opposition MPAs should avoid such talks which spread smell of biasness. He said they could talk about the discriminations done with the Tharparkar, Kachho and other less-developed areas of the province in past but they all should stay away of such talks.
PML-F’s parliamentary leader Nand Kumar also alleged that the finance department’s officials told him that government’s higher authorities has directed them not to release the funds for the development schemes proposed by the MPAs of the opposition parties.
However, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani suggested the opposition MPAs to hold a meeting with Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to sort out such issues as he himself will facilitate them in arranging this meeting.
Later, after adjourning the proceedings, Local Government and Information Minister Sharjeel Memon while speaking to the media said many criminals were recruited in Karachi Local Government Department, traffic wardens and industries department in Karachi, who were arrested in the charges of target killings and other crimes. The lists of all those employees, who were recruited in the regime of Musharraf and former CM Arbab Rahim, were handed over to the law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, Faisal Sabzwari while talking to the media said criminals were recruited in the Sindh Police by the PPP’s home minister in 2008. He demanded inquiry into the recruitments of all such cops and other employees. He said they would move a resolution against the controversial Pakistan Protection Law passed by the National Assembly.