KARACHI - For the first time in its five years, Sindh Assembly on Tuesday passed a private bill of opposition lawmaker into law, correcting the name of the province in all laws and rules from ‘Sind’ to correct word of ‘Sindh’.

The most important aspect of the piece of legislation was that it was tabled by an MPA Arif Mustafa Jatoi of National Peoples Party (NPP) from the opposition benches, which was supported by the government with open heart to convert it into law. The House which met at 11.15am with Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro in the chair, took question-hour pertained to food department.

Later, Arif Mustafa Jatoi said that the spelling of the provinces had been corrected in the 18th Amendment, so there was a need to pass a law to convert the name of province from ‘Sind’ with addition of ‘h’ to ‘Sindh’ in each law passed in past.

Law Minister Ayaz Soomro as well as MQM’s parliamentary leader Syed Sardar Ahmed from government side welcomed the move and extended support from the Treasury Benches for the private bill of opposition member Arif Jatoi.

After passage of law, the mover Arif Jatoi appreciated the role of government side for their support in passing his private bill into law. Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro appreciating both the sides said that it was happened because of democracy.

Meanwhile, house also approved the introduction another private bill ‘The Sindh Control of Goondas (amendment) Bill 2012’ tabled by Arif Mustafa Jatoi of NPP from opposition benches.

Informing about the objective of the bill, Jatoi said that provincial government had passed a ‘Control of Goondas Act 1952’, which need amendment to control the miscreants.

He said that amendment in the law seeks to ensure uniform application throughout the province which is necessary due to weakening of write of the state, uncontrolled lawlessness and increasing disregard for the law and common decency.

Soomro said that the said the Act was repealed due to imposition of One-Unit in the province, suggesting the Chair to refer the bill to the standing committee of law and parliamentary affairs to look into the previous laws and come up with report in next session.

Khuhro in his ruling directed the committee to bring the report on private bill in next session so it could be taken up for consideration.

Meanwhile, the women MPAs irrespective of their political divide stood united on Tuesday, demanding the government to bring the laws formulated against the domestic violence as well as sexual harassment at workplace against women.

MPAs Marvi Rashdi and Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of PML-F from opposition benches chanted slogans of ‘shame shame’ against not tabling the pro-women laws in the House.

Minister for Women Development Department Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto clarified that seven bills have been clipped into one bill, which covers all women related issues. She hoped that the pro-women bill would be tabled on February 14 or other date in running session.

She said that her department and women MPAs have suggested severe punishment against the culprits involving in acid throwing on women, domestic violence or harassment at workplace against women, but the home department has not agreed with the idea of severe punishment for culprits.

Culture Minister Sassui Palijo and Humera Alwani of ruling PPP as well as opposition MPAs stood on their seats, demanding the law minister to give date when will the pro-women legislation brought in the House.

Soomro said that seven bills had arrived from women development department to the law department which clipped in one bill, announcing that same would be tabled in the current session.

Anwar Mahar drew attention of the chair towards a report prepared by standing committee of home department regarding a private bill to control the ‘Mainpuri and Gutka’ but not brought in the house today. He unveiled that LEAs told the committee that people involved in the menace used blood of animals in the mainpuri and gutka.

Later, house passed a resolution of Anwar Mahar unanimously, which asked the government to take proper/effective measures to improve the female literacy ratio and bring it to the level of at least 80pc by 2015.

Senior minister for education department Pir Mazharul Haq claimed that with the efforts of provincial government, the female literacy ratio has been increased from 25pc to 35pc in five years of present government.

He concealed that schools are lying closed and being used as ‘otaqs’ by influential persons, besides the educational buildings and hostels occupied by law enforcement agencies.

He added that schools were built without feasibility and needs in the province.

Public Accounts Committee chairman Jam Tamachi Unar said that teachers do not go schools to teach students, besides union of teachers has become mafia.

Razak Rahimon of PML-Likeminded opined that posting of officers on own pay scale (OPS) has further deteriorated education. Marvi Rashdi of PML-F said that corruption is on rampant in the education department, merit is not being followed in teachers’ recruitment and officers’ posting and favoritism are the cause of deterioration of education system.

Earlier, the house also passed anther resolution moved by Rifat Khan Advocate of MQM, which asked the government to ensure that transporters issue tickets to their passengers, so that disputes between passengers and transporters may not occur. The lawmakers demanded the government to ensure separate portion/seats for elders and special persons in the public transport.

Meanwhile, the law minister told the House that IG police will brief the assembly on law and order problem in in-camera session tomorrow on Thursday.