KARACHI - Despite a meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh Governor Ishrat-ul-Ebad the other day, the MQM continued its boycott of the first sitting of the Sindh Assemblys new session on Tuesday. PPP lawmakers underlined the need for legislation on local government and other issues that remain contentious between the PPP and the MQM in Sindh, sending a clear message to its estranged coalition partner to end its boycott. The session started at 10:30am, with Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro in the chair. The House dedicated the question-hour to the Women Development Department. Later, Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza sought the permission of the chair to allow him tabling a privilege motion against Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, the owner of Jang group of publications. Brandishing the newspaper copies (of The News and Jang), the home minister said that newspapers published a fabricated story against him headlined 'Mirza to be shown door within days. In his privilege motion, Mirza said that the newspapers, while quoting anonymous sources, reported that the delay in his removal as home minister was because of his wife, the speaker National Assembly. The report has defamed me, my family and it has breached my privilege as a member of this august House and has caused me great distress, Mirza said. He maintained that the publisher of the news story, editors of the newspapers and the news desk were accountable for this gross breach of privilege, requesting the chair to summon the editor, the publisher and all the other people concerned to the Sindh Assemblys Standing Committee on Rules and Privileges and they be directed to disclose the unnamed sources mentioned in the news report. Mirza said that the owner of these newspapers had sent his reporter to him with a request to get approval of a plot worth Rs200 million in the city. Mirza said the reporter came to him six times, but he refused to entertain the request because neither he was Minister for Land Utilisation nor Chief Minister of Sindh. He claimed that after his refusal, the newspapers started the witch-hunt against him. The Sindh home minister further said that he is neither a Makhdoom of Multan nor a Pir or Mir, but he is a worker of the PPP who single-handedly got majority in the local government elections for the partys candidate in Badin district during the Musharraf regime. He said all the respect and position he received was due to the party, therefore when the party wanted, he would quit as home minister within 12 seconds instead of 12 days as mentioned in the news story. Mirza said he has proof to support his claim against the owner of the Jang group that would be made public soon. After listening arguments from the home minister, the chair admitted the privilege motion in order and referred it to the Committee for further proceedings. Meanwhile, PPPs lawmaker Dr Sikandar Shoro, while speaking on a point of order, said that various bills for restructuring of development authorities, including HDA, MDA and LDA, were deferred due to untold reasons. He emphasised taking up these issues for legislation as the people have invested their money in various projects of the development authorities. To the point of order, Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani supported the grievances raised by the lawmaker. He said that he received complaints from public in this regard, adding that he has talked to Governor Ishrat-ul-Ebad and MQMs parliamentary leader in the Sindh Assembly, Syed Sardar, to reach a consensus for speedy legislation on the contentious issues. Durrani informed the House that the MQM has sought time for discussion on the Local Government Amendment Bill and other bills. The raising of issue of legislation on the contentious issues was aimed at sending a message to the MQM to end their boycott and comer back to the assembly, otherwise the ruling PPP would legislate on such issues on its own, political analysts said. Meanwhile, Syeda Marvi Rashdi of the PML-F from the opposition benches, while speaking on a point of order, expressed sorrow over the target killings in the city that have claimed 30 lives within the last week alone. She demanded the government inform the House of the reasons causing such heinous crimes; whether these reasons are political, unemployment or other. Senior Minister for Education Pir Mazhr-ul-Haq said that mushroom growth of fake organisations has been observed in the city. He said these outfits are working in the name of human rights in the province and have filed petitions against elected representatives only to get cheap popularity. The law minister assured the House the matter would be investigated. After disposing of privilege motions and listening of points of order, Nusrat Abbasi of the PML-F drew the attention of the chair to the lengthy business, including resolutions of private members. But his point was not taken up and she walked out of House in protest. Later, the chair adjourned the House till Wednesday (today).