KARACHI - Ruckus was witnessed at the Sindh Assembly session on Monday as Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) lawmakers shouted slogans against each other over the formation of new provinces.

The already tense situation went uglier after Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that during the Karachi operation, target killers working in the Water Board and the KMC have been arrested.

The statement of the minister, made while responding to a call attention notice of MQM member Dr Zafar Kamali, led to exchange of harsh words between the two parties. Sharjeel Memon said that Farooq Dada, who was killed in an operation, was the driver for the Water Board MD.

These remarks provoked the MQM and the house slipped into mayhem as members from both sides of the aisle shouted slogans against each other, ignoring the warnings by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani. The house reverberated with the slogans of ‘shame, shame’. The war of words continued for quite some time.

MQM lawmaker Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hassan said that if names of MQM’s martyrs, who he said were killed extra-judicially, were taken on the floor of the assembly, then they too will not spare others. The MQM and PPP lawmakers continued to exchange barbs even during prayer call while Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani kept on calling for calm. Memon and Hassan continued to exchange heated words until their microphones were shut.

The order restored in the house after speaker announced that time allocated to the call attention notice had passed. Mr Durrani said that he allowed every member to speak but at the same time the members should follow the rules of procedure. In the meantime, the Sindh minister for parliamentary affairs requested the chair to expunge all the un-parliamentary words from the proceeding, which was done.

Earlier, PPP MPA Nisar Khurro said the assembly had unanimously decided against the formation of new provinces. In response to Muhammad Hussain, Khurro said the local bodies elections were about to be held and such statements spoil the atmosphere.

Sharjeel Memon said a response could be given to words and attitude being displayed but the PPP did not want the situation to get heated. MQM’s Izharul Hasan said the statement by Khursheed Shah and his apology was hypocrisy. This led to a freefall for all as both parties exchanged heated words despite warnings by the speaker.

Speaking to the media prior to the assembly session, MQM MPA Muhammad Hussain said the sacrifices rendered by Mohajirs after the formation of Pakistan were unparalleled. He said the MQM decision to separate itself from the PPP-led government was not to fight but to reveal corruption while sitting on the opposition benches. PPP leader and Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani talking to media said he was willing to act as a mediator between the PPP and MQM.

Information Minister Sharjeel Memon told the media ahead of the session that political point-scoring or pitting people against each other in the wake of upcoming local bodies’ (LB) polls did not suit anyone. “It is known well to everyone that old and new Sindhis are living in Sindh with the spirit of brotherhood. There is no hatred among them. No such thinking prevails among the people. It is not proper to talk this way in the wake of upcoming LB polls or for political point scoring,” he said.

To a question on the statement given by Sheikh Rashid Ahmad about PPP leadership he said, “Sheikh Rashid has no political standing. He is a political orphan. He was brought up in the lap of Nawaz Sharif and latter he played in the laps of Zia and Musharraf. Sheikh Rashid is product of dictators. No educated person can either use or hear the language he is using.” He went on to say Sheikh Rashid has been provided platform in the politics of indecency the precedent of which has been set by Imran Khan.

MQM delegation to meet PM

Late night TV reports said that a delegation of the MQM is scheduled to meet the prime minister today (Tuesday), indicating Muttahida’s increasing inclination to the ruling party.

Responding to a question on the incident met by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in London the other day, he said Bilawal is the only leader who has challenged Indian government on Kashmir cause and he has said that “we will get Kashmir at every cost”.

He said, “It is matter of regret that Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif) has never talked openly on Kashmir issue. No voice has been raised by PM or Foreign Minister at government level, or by Imran Khan, or leader of any other major political party on Kashmir. There is no leader other than Bilawal who could dub Taliban terrorists.” He claimed that the mischief was committed by Indian agents and at the behest of “some of our leaders” during London rally.