Karachi - Sindh Assembly on Tuesday once again witnessed slogans of Go Zardari Go, protest in front of rostrum of the speaker and boycott of assembly proceedings by opposition lawmakers.

The treasury benches also responded to the opposition’s protest and criticism by lambasting the federal government, and passing a resolution which stated that the Election Commission would be approached to revisit and reframe the rules on proportional representation on reserved seats.

The provincial assembly proceedings that started an hour behind schedule continued calmly till the question and answer session.

The situation started to turn tense when the private resolutions and motions were discussed in the House.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf lawmaker Khurram Sher Zaman raised the issue of outbreak of Chikungunya, a viral disease in Karachi, that had affected over 57,00 people in the city and said that the provincial government had done nothing to cope with the situation.

Minister for Health Dr Sikander Mandhro opposed the motion and said that the provincial government was completely aware of gravity of the situation and was taking steps to prevent the spread of disease. “This disease has not claimed any life as yet, and the DNA tests of mosquitoes are being conducted to develop any vaccine for the disease,” he assured.

Later, the adjournment motion was declared non-maintainable by chairman of the panel, Syed Murad Ali Shah. Pakistan Muslim League-Functional MPA Mehtab Akber Rashidi also tabled an adjournment motion to discuss the issue of cheating and leakage of intermediate papers in Karachi. However, the speaker rejected it, citing that only one adjournment motion could be entertained in a day. She, however, asked the minister for education to respond to it.

Minister for Education Jam Mehtab Dahar informed the House that the provincial government had taken notice of the copy culture and leakage of intermediate papers in the annual exams and the chief minister was himself monitoring the entire situation. “The CTD has been tasked with taking action against WhatsApp mafia involved in leaking papers before examination,” he said.

Soon after this, the deputy speaker gave MQM lawmaker Zafar Kamali the mike to speak on his private resolution regarding the release of funds to opposition lawmakers under community development programme; an issue that had created ruckus a day before.

Kamali said that the opposition lawmakers were asked by the deputy commissioners to prepare schemes worth Rs44 million in their areas under community development; however, no funds had been released as yet despite submitting these projects.

“I represent Mirpurkhas in the House but the provincial government is reluctant to give funds to the district and is even denying these funds to all 73 opposition members in the House,” he said.

“PPP still have a discriminatory mindset when it comes to urban and rural areas, but we raised voice for our funds yesterday and will continue to do so in future,” he added.

PML-N Lawmaker Sorath Thebo also supported the resolution and said that the government had earmarked over Rs8 billion for community development programme, but unfortunately only the constituencies of members of opposition remained deprived of these funds,” she regretted.

She repudiated Nisar Khuhro’s claim, which he had made on Monday that she (Thebo) was receiving the funds, saying this was not true.

The minister apologised to Thebo for hurting her feelings and said that he only wanted to say that she had received funds last year and it should be checked as to whether she had received funds this year or not.

“It may be possible that the opposition lawmakers did not fulfill the requirements necessary for securing the release of funds,” he speculated.

After Khuhro, the speaker then asked newly inducted PPP member Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh to speak on the issue, who lambasted the opposition lawmakers for raising hue and cry over every issue in the House.

This infuriated the opposition, which sought permission from the deputy speaker to first speak on the resolution.

The deputy speaker, however, turned down the demand and warned that if the protest by opposition parties continued she would present the resolution for counting and later did it.

The House rejected the resolution with a majority vote, creating an uproar and protest from opposition lawmakers.

The opposition members later gathered in front of the speaker’s rostrum and raised slogans of Go Zardari Go, No Corruption No and others.

The opposition later boycotted the assembly proceedings, making it easier for the treasury benches to freely blast the federal government and pass a resolution from the House.

Speaking on the occasion, Provincial Minister for Industries Manzoor Hussain Wasan said that a large number of unemployed youth could be provided jobs in the Nara Gas field in Khairpur. “However, the PML-F leaders there, instead of working for the unemployed youth, are extorting money from the locals,” he alleged.

Referring to the often cited comment that Karachi earns a big chunk of revenue for the province, Wasan said it should also be informed that these are district Bin Qasim and Kemari town which lead in tax collection. Dr Sohrab Sarki said that although first phase of the census had been completed, but the federal government was yet to provide the results to the provincial government which had raised serious concerns.

Seconding the opinion, Provincial Minister Dr Sikander Shoro also said that concealing results of the census was creating suspicions and they could not trust a prime minister who had already been declared a thief by the court.

PPP MPA Khiarun Nisa Mughal said that Nawaz Sharif was trying to damage integrity of the state institution by concealing the results. “If wrong figures are released, then it will damage reputation of the institution which is carrying out the exercise,” she commented. She further said that those who were raising slogans of ‘go go’ for others had already being rejected by people of the province through their votes.

Meanwhile, the House adopted a resolution from former home minister and PPP MPA Sohail Anwer Siyal that stated that the speaker Sindh Assembly should approach the Election Commission of Pakistan to revisit and reframe the proportional representation on reserved seats as incorporated in Article 51 of the constitution of Pakistan.

It further said that as many members from various political organisations had resigned and got elected from other parties, the original ratio had been altered altogether; disturbing the representation as fixed in the constitution.

Speaking on it, Siyal said that the party situation after members from various parties had left their parties and joined PPP and other parties had changed altogether and it was necessary to review the representation on reserved seats for minorities and women once again.

Minister for Works and Services Imdad Ahmed Pitafi supported the resolution and said that those who had lost mandate of the people had no right to sit in the provincial assemblies. “If there is a lacuna in rules regarding it, then the election commission should address it,” he said.

Minister apologizes for abusive words for prime minister

Meanwhile, minister for works and services also asked the deputy speaker to expunge two abusive words he had used for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his speech, and said that he had uttered these words in an aggressive mode.

“I did not want to use these words, but it was a slip of tongue on my part,” he reasoned.

The deputy speaker said that she had already expunged those words as no abusive word could become part of assembly records. 

The House was later adjourned for Friday.