KARACHI - The Sindh Assembly on Monday completed its five year tenure with both opposition and treasury members renewing their pledge for the continuity of the democratic system in the country.

The assembly held 519 sitting during the provincial assembly tenure. 

The provincial assembly proceedings on Monday started as usual more than two hours late with Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair.

Parliamentary leaders of the political parties in the assembly including Syed Sardar Ahmed from MQM-P, Khurram Sher Zaman from PTI, Shafi Jamote from, PML-N, Mehtab Akber Rashidi from PML-F, Nisar Khuhro from the PPP gave farewell speeches followed by speeches from Opposition Leader Khwaja Izharul Hassan and Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.

Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani and deputy speaker Shehla Raza also expressed their views followed by former Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, who was specially asked by the house to deliver his speech.

Opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izhar on his last speech from the incumbent assembly said that he had learnt a lot from the senior members both from treasury and opposition sides and especially from Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani.

“When we first came to this house we only knew point of order and the speaker used to point us different rules to make us sit down but with the passage of time we learnt the proceedings of the house,” he said.

Izhar said that the opposition members were mostly new but they raised the issues in a better way in front of seasoned politicians on the treasury side.

“Assembly is the representative of the masses and the symbol of the democracy and we tried our best to serve the masses and strengthen the role of the democratic process in the country,” he said.

He said that the government should not consider the assembly as tool of its administration instead it is a legislative body and should work in that manner.

Responding to calls for conspiracies being hatched against the democratic system, Khawaja Izhar said that such things had been done and would also be done but it is important for the politicians to refrain from becoming a part of it.

He asked as to why the young generation is avoiding political activities and said that it was due to the character assassinations of politicians against each other.

He applauded the role of the speaker Sindh Assembly and said that he showed tolerance during the assembly proceedings in contrast of his nature that he witnessed during him being a local government minister.

I acknowledge that we have irritated the deputy speaker a lot and apologized if they have hurt anyone feelings, he said.

Giving his speech, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he had tried to resolve the issues of every lawmaker irrespective of his association during his tenure as the chief minister.

“I came raw to this house 15 years ago in 2002 but during the process learnt a lot from the senior lawmakers like Qaim Ali Shah, Nisar Khuhro and others,” he said. He said that they had run the assembly business in a tolerant way and also passed private bills and resolutions from opposition lawmakers in contrast to past tenures specially that of dictators when the opposition agenda is even not entertained.

“The recent budget debate continued for around 31 hours despite having authentication of only three months,” he said adding they did this in order to ensure participation of lawmakers from both sides.

Responding to criticism on him over remarks for curing those raising slogans of new province in Sindh province, the chief minister said that he could never thought of giving remarks against those who had given a great sacrifice by migrating from India to Pakistan.

“I only said that when they have come to the province then they should consider it as their own province,” he said adding that although constitution do not forbids calls for new provinces but such slogans hurt their sentiments as they consider Sindh as their motherland.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Khuhro said that there are certain forces in Pakistan that wanted to imprison the thinking of masses and failed the dream of a democratic Pakistan from founder and leader Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Giving his speech Speaker Sindh Assembly said that he was thankful to Allah and his party leadership including Bilawal Bhutto and Asif Zardari who had given him the opportunity to serve.

PTI Parliamentary Leader Khurram Sher Zaman who is one of the key critics of the government policies in the assembly, apologised to treasury members for his harsh remarks in past. Later, a photo shoot of the assembly members also took place in front of the assembly while a certificate distribution ceremony among the lawmakers was also organised in the committee room of the assembly.