PA speaker nominee Awais Qadir was removed from last cabinet to make way for Sharjeel

By Our Correspondent
February 24, 2024

Syed Awais Qadir Shah, who has been nominated by the Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for the post of the Sindh Assembly speaker, has returned to the Sindh Assembly for another term after being elected from PS-23 Sukkur II in the recent general elections.

Nominated Sindh Assembly speakerby the PPP,Syed Awais Qadir Shah can be seen in this image. — Facebook/Syed Awais Qadir Shah

As the PPP has a simple majority in the legislature, Shah faces no challenge in the speaker’s election. He will replace Agha Siraj Khan Durrani who remained the provincial assembly’s speaker for the past two terms.

Shah, who is son of Abdul Qadir Shah and nephew of Khurshid Shah, secured 69,266 votes in the recent elections and defeated the Grand Democratic Alliance candidate Inayatullah who polled 21,137 votes.

In the 2018 general elections, Shah was elected to the Sindh Assembly from the same constituency after securing 43,721 votes. His rival at that time was Muhammad Ali of the GDA who bagged 36,580 votes.

The PPP’s speaker candidate has a bachelor’s of engineering degree in civil technology from the Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Jamshoro. After the 2018 elections, Shah was inducted in the provincial cabinet and served as the Sindh transport minister till April 21, 2022, when he had to leave the Sindh cabinet to make way for Sharjeel Memon who replaced him as the transport minister.

As the transport minister, Shah played a key role in finalising the deal and contract for launching the Peoples Bus Service in Karachi as the PPP regime’s first-ever modern transport service in the provincial capital.

Shah was also elected to the Sindh Assembly in 2013. Between 2013 and 2018, he served as the chairman of the Sindh Assembly’s Standing Committee on the Home Department.

Deputy speaker

The PPP chairman has nominated Anthony Naveed from a minority community as the next deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly. He will replace Rehana Laghari. Born in Karachi in 1971, Naveed possesses a diploma of associate engineering in garment technology.

He belongs to the Christian community and has played an important role in improving ties between Karachi’s Christian community and the PPP. He returned to the Sindh Assembly on a seat reserved for religious minorities after the February 8 general polls. He earlier served as a special assistant to the Sindh chief minister on interfaith harmony.

He has also served as the chairman of the Sindh Assembly’s Standing Committee on Transport & Mass Transit. He remained a member of the Sindh Assembly’s standing committees on finance, and primary and secondary health. In an earlier local government setup, Naveed served as the UC-1 Naib Nazim of Jamshed Town in Karachi.

The nomination of Naveed has broken the years-long tradition of a female deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly as in the recent past, Raheela Tiwana, Shehla Raza and Rehana served at the post.