KARACHI               -              Another private members’ day in the Assembly was consumed without taking up any agenda, as the lawmakers particularly treasury members kept facilitating each other on their leaders’ bail.

The sitting of the Assembly began two hours late with Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair. Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla set the tone for facilitation as he congratulated the Pakistan People’s Party President Asif Ali Zardari, party’s Women Wing President and MPA Faryal Talpur, MNA Syed Khrsheed Shah and Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani as they all have been awarded bail by the courts with the span of few days.  “People also face difficult times in the life but our leadership stood firm in those difficult times,” he added.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Javed Hanif who has been facing corruption charges and released on bail said that in other countries, a person cannot be arrested until charges are proved against him. “But in Pakistan, a person can be arrested on allegations only,” he added. Hanif said the National Accountability Bureau had arrested him for ‘giving’ jobs to the people during his term as the Karachi Post Trust Chairman.

Opposition Leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi said that an ‘honourable’ citizen should not be arrested until thorough investigation. “The Co-Chief of the party which has been ruling in Sindh for 12 years have got the bail but the people of the province haven’t got water yet,” he added.

As many as 10 lawmakers belonging to the PPP felicitated their leadership and criticised the federal government on during which the treasury and PTI members also came face to face. Sharjeel Inam Memon of the PPP and PTI’s Riaz Haider moved aggressively towards each other but they were separated by the persuading members. The Assembly also adopted a unanimous resolution moved by the MQM-P’s Rana Ansar to condemn demolition of the party’s Yadgar-e-Shuhda (Martyrs’ monument) by unknown people. “This house strongly condemns the act of breaching sanctity of Yadgar-e-Shuhda as sentiments of millions of Muhajirs were hurt. This assembly also demands impartial inquiry into the matter and strict punishment for perpetrators,” the resolution read.

Officials reverted back

Separately, Sindh Minister for Revenue and Relief Makhdoom Mehboob Zaman Tuesday informed the provincial assembly that all officials—who were posted as Mukhtiarkar by the Chief Minister on exemption from passing departmental examination—have been reverted to their original substantive posts after the apex court’s directives.

Furnishing replies to lawmakers’ written and verbal queries during the Question Hour, Zaman said that the Chief Minister using his desecration powers had exempted some officials of the department from passing Revenue Qualifying Examination to get Mukhtiarkar post and appointed them directly. However, he added that all those exemptees were reverted on the Supreme Court’s directives and presently, all the Mukhtiarkars, posted in throughout Sindh are eligible as they have passed Revenue Qualifying Examination. The MQM-P’s Muhammad Hussain Khan and Javed Hanif argued that the Chief Minister cannot relax the rules to exempt someone from passing the necessary examination to get a post. “There was obviously some illegality or irregularity that’s why the apex court had ordered that all exemptee officials should be reverted back,” they added.

“Chief Executive of the province can exercise his desecration powers on the issue,” Zaman replied. When Muhammad Shabbir Qureshi asked the Minister to apprise the house about details and names of those who were exempted and posted as Mukhtiarkar, Zaman said, “It is a fresh question. We will provide all the details when the question is asked’