KARACHI - A select number of Sindh As­sembly members represent­ing Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI), Muttahida Qaumi Move­ment (MQM) and Grand Demo­cratic Alliance (GDA) here on Wednesday had a mock session of the house registering their protest against adjournment of the emergency session requisi­tioned to discuss COVID-19 re­lated challenges in the province.

The meeting, held at Sindh Assembly’s staircase, was chaired by Member Provincial Assembly (MPA) Syed Moham­mad Hussain of MQM and ad­dressed by leader of the oppo­sition Firdous Shamim Naqvi (PTI), Kunwar Naveed Jameel (MQM) and Nusrat Sahar Ab­basi (GDA).

The speakers expressing strong reservations about conduct of Speaker, Agha Siraj Durrani, who put off the sitting on Tuesday evening only after calling it for Wednesday, men­tioned that this was done for the second consecutive time in recent past-since the coronavi­rus crisis had hit the province, particularly its capital Karachi.

It was also reminded by them that despite repeated claims by the Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah that all political parties with their rep­resentation in the provincial assembly would be included in consultations with regards to measures required to handle the COVID19 challenge, no op­position party was ever taken on board nor invited to any of the meetings. MPA Firdaus Shamim Naqvi said they were compelled to hold their sitting on assembly premises as the issue was directly linked to the economic survival of the prov­ince and its people.

He alleged that economy of Karachi was being deliberately destroyed and since the ruling party could not come forward for any explanation about its policies, pulling the province and its capital towards de­struction, hence has adopted undemocratic tactics.

“We wanted the emergency session to discuss issues, in­cluding the much needed ex­pression of gratitude to the Allah that COVID19 induced situation in our country is largely under control as com­pared to even the US where, despite emergence of the cases being witnessed at the same time as ours, yet human loss continues to be tremendous while on our side it remains largely controllable,” said the leader of the opposition in the provincial assembly.

He also expressed his aston­ishment as why the Federal Government and three other provincial governments were on the same page and have opted for a single approach to handle the situation while Sindh Government was trying to make things difficult for the masses.

“They (Pakistan People Par­ty) to hoodwink people are try­in

 g to play Sindh Card this time too but masses can no more be deceived,” said Naqvi.

MQM leader Kunwar Na­vaid Jameel alleged that the provincial government not only aborted attempts to have healthy debate on the criti­cal issue of COVID-19 but also went back against its commit­ment to keep engaged the pub­lic representative belonging to the opposition parties.

COVID-19, he alleged, was being used as an excuse to make arbitrary decisions at the cost of communities other than those having majority in the province.

He inquired about the urgen­cy to depute police personnel in Karachi from other parts of the province, creating positions in health and other essential departments and appointing people from all parts but al­most nil from Karachi, Hyder­abad, Sukkur and Mirpurkhas. Reiterating that COVID-19 was being used to deceive people and open new avenues of cor­ruption, he said, steps needed to prevent and manage the vi­ral infection were not being taken while figures were being fudged on regular basis.

“Provincial government is trying to establish efficiency through media and camou­flage ground realities which is that people, with little or even modest resources, be snatched away of their livelihood,” said the MQM leader.

He alleged that Karachi and its people were being particu­larly targeted, evident from the fact that 80 percent of all CO­VID cases in the province were reported from Karachi, that was almost 25 percent of cases registered across the country, while 85 percent of all coun­trywide deaths caused due to the disease were recorded in the megapolis only.

MPA Nusrat Sahar Abbasi from GDA said people and their representatives could not be left at the mercy of the people who lack sensitivity and hold no realization about the aspi­rations and need of the masses.

The session jointly requi­sitioned by the opposition parties was and is urgently needed to help address COVID challenge exposing people to hunger and poverty, she said and alleged that Chief Minister and his team of four ministers were trying to confuse people with fudged figures and false calculations.

Supplementing the other two speakers, she said as how was it possible that hundreds of people tested positive for the viral infection during a mass screening undertaken by gov­ernment in Pir Jo Goth were later found clear during testing at a private facility.

“Things are definitely wrong and we can not leave our peo­ple at the mercy of incompe­tent and insensitive figures un­der whose governance people have to seek recommendations and pay bribes for their genu­ine and basic rights,” alleged the senior politician.