KARACHI - The Sindh Assembly, on Thursday, unanimously adopted a motion for unseating former Sindh chief minister and chief of the PML-Likeminded, MPA Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, for remaining continuously absent from the sessions since 2008.

Besides issuing a notification in this respect, the SA Secretariat will now approach the Election Commission of Pakistan to declare the seat vacant and hold election on PS-60 Tharparkar within 90 days.

It may be mentioned here that Rahim had attended the assembly proceedings only for oath-taking. He had never been seen in the assembly after its first session.

The PML-Likeminded chief, who is in a self-imposed exile in Dubai, has earned the wrath of the PPP for pitting his candidates in the recent Senate elections against those from the allies of the ruling party. Animosity against Rahim among parliamentarians from the PPP was brewing since.

Speaker Nisar Khuhro, after the questions-hour session was over, informed the House that the SA Secretariat had prepared a report on Arbab Rahim’s attendance. He remained absent for 40 consecutive days, Khuhro added.

Taking the floor of the House, Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani moved a motion that stated “Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim’s seat be declared vacant”. An identical motion was moved by Sindh Minister for Revenue Jam Mehtab Dahar and Food Minister Mir Nadir Magsi and minority MPA Saleem Khursheed Khokhar.

Speaking about his motion, Durrani insinuated that it was the voice of the entire House that that the constituency of PS-60 Tharparkar be declared vacant. He also appealed to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and the PPP Co-Chairman to award ticket to Engineer Wali Muhammad Rahimoon for contesting the by-election to the said constituency.

Upon this, PML-Likeminded MPA Razzaque Rahimoon said it was the privilege of the House to decide anything, but an unsuitable trend was being set in motion by taking a decision against his party chief. “Jam Madad Ali was un-seated during the second tenure of the PPP. And now Arbab Rahim is being un-seated. We are boycotting this session,” added Rahimoon.

“We did not force him to leave,” Durrani said as the PML-N Likeminded lawmaker walked out of the assembly. Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq said, “Enough is enough. Arbab Rahim is unwell, but the tone and language in his telephonic speeches seem otherwise.”

According to Section 56(1) of the SA Rules of Procedure, any member can float a motion for declaring a seat vacant, after a member’s 40 days continuous absence (from session).

Sindh Advocate General Abdul Fateh Malik quoted several articles of the constitution and told the Sindh Assembly that the “provisions were very clear”.

Rahim’s last leave application was rejected by the House. While he has cited his ill-health as the reason for not being able to travel from Dubai, his last application detailed he could not travel because of security concerns. After exhausting all legal formalities, Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro put the motion in the House which passed it unanimously.

Earlier, Sindh Minister for Alternative Energy Sheharyar Mehar withdrew his privilege motion against the Sukkur Irrigation chief engineer. He said that since the issue had been resolved and the officer concerned apologised over his behaviour, he might be allowed to withdraw his privilege motion.

The House, which commenced under Dr Sikandar Mahendaro - a member of the presiding panel - at 11:30am, took up the questions-hour session pertaining to the Coal & Energy Development Department.

The House also approved a resolution moved by Sindh Information Minister Shazia Marri that stated, “This Assembly marks the 23rd of March as a historic day for the people of Pakistan, hails the spirit behind Pakistan Resolution; pays tributes to the fearless leaders who overcome all hurdles and made countless sacrifices for an independent Pakistan; reaffirms its commitment to remain undeterred in its efforts towards the prosperity of Pakistan and its people through sustained democracy.” After completion of the agenda, Speaker Nisar Khuhro read to the House the prorogation orders of the governor.