KARACHI - The budget debate on Monday continued for the third consecutive day in the provincial assembly and opposition parties staged protest when PML-F lawmaker Shaheryar Khan Maher pointed out absence of ministers and government secretaries during the debate.

The provincial assembly proceedings as usual began more than two hours late and at the beginning only 35 lawmakers were present during the proceedings. 

PML-F lawmaker Shaheryar Maher said that they were delivering their speeches but there was no one to listen to them. To this speaker asked him to continue his speech as it was being made part of the assembly record and also asked the opposition lawmakers to refrain from making assembly a vegetable market through their protests.

The opposition lawmakers got irked with the speakers remarks and intensified their protest. 

Maher during his speech said: “PPP claims credit of peace in Karachi but it is known to everyone as to whom they supported during 2008-2013 for gaining stronghold in Lyari-referring to People’s Aman Committee.”

“Police jobs were sold out for Rs 700,000 in the former IGP Sindh tenure appointed by PPP and this house with a majority vote from PPP lawmakers passed resolutions against Rangers,” he said.

He said that people of the province have now been awaken and would not tolerate corruption in the name of Bhuttoism.

Former MQM-P lawmaker Irum Azeem Farooqui said that claims were made of making Karachi as Paris but I just requested them to just make it the Karachi which was once called the city of lights.

“During the entire PPP tenure, only 10 buses were run from the provincial government in the city,” she said.

PPP lawmaker and Chairman Standing Committee on Home Affairs, Syed Awais Qadir Shah turned his guns towards former premier Nawaz Sharif and said that he wanted to create a head on collision between the state institutions through his remarks and is speaking against the nation flag which they hold in hands with respect.

“His narrative is against those due to whom we are sitting safe in our homes,” he said.

MQM-P lawmaker who defected to PSP, Bilquees Mukhtar said that everyone is eyeing the resources of Karachi but no one is resolving the issues of the city.

“With elections nearing everyone is remembering Karachi, but unfortunately the city still lacks drinking water,” she pointed towards one of the basic facilities the city is lacking.

MQM-P lawmaker Muhammad Dilawer said that the ruling party [PPP] does not have a vote bank in Karachi and therefore it did not raise the issue of low counting of the Karachiites in census process.

“Being accommodating thousands of newcomers every day, the city should be given more funds,” he asked adding that the government considers construction of Tariq road with Rs 54 million as the development in Karachi.

PPP lawmaker Dr Mahesh Mallani said that the PPP have carried out uplift projects in the Tharparkar area and have installed RO plants, which are now operational, and also carrying out different projects in the area with the partnership of non-governmental organizations.

PPP MPA Saira Shahliani said that the provincial government is serving the masses and it was due to their efforts that peace has prevailed in one of the most troubled cities of the country-Karachi.

“The government funded SIUT project is serving the poor while the 2100 school standards have been improved in the province in PPP tenure,” she told the house.

Advisor to CM Sindh on Social Welfare Shamim Mumtaz said that Zulfiqar Bhutto introduced quota system to empower the weaker ones in the province and was not against anyone. It is pertinent to mention here that Bilawal Bhutto in his speech on 12 May 2018 at Bagh e Jinnah said that quota system was introduced by first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan and was lastly approved by General Yahya Khan and PPP has no role in its legislation.

Criticizing the PTI, the PPP Karachi leader asked as to where were the reforms promised by PTI in police and other departments in KPK. “Those who are unable to witness the progress in the province should come out of their constituencies and visit other parts of the province,” she asked the opposition lawmakers.