The Sindh Assembly on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution to acknowledge the vision of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on Thar coal which had been turned into a reality by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led provincial government. The resolution also congratulated the people of Thar on the success of the Thar Coal project.
The resolution was passed in the absence of opposition members, who had walked out of the legislature in protest, following an argument between the speaker and one of the opposition MPAs.
The resolution presented by PPP MPA Arbab Lutfullah also praised PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Co-Chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari and the Sindh government for developing infrastructure in the Thar area as well as uplifting the living conditions of the people of Thar.
“The House acknowledges the vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto for Thar Coal which has now been turned into reality by her party led by President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman of PPP, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,” the resolution read.
The opposition chanted slogans against ‘hooliganism’ in the provincial assembly and walked out of the legislature in protest after a verbal clash between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman and Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani who did not allow the opposition MPA to speak.
One of the opposition MPAs, Seema Zia, used harsh words against the speaker and the treasury benches which added to the rumpus and chaos in the assembly, while Zaman called remarks uttered by the speaker as threats to him and announced to lodge an FIR against him.
The PA session started once again after a delay of over one-and-a-half hours with Deputy Speaker Rehana Leghari in chair. Following completion of the formalities, the MPAs discussed the police firing incident in Karachi resulting in the death of a toddler and expressed their condolences to the family.
Faraz Dero, the Sindh Auqaf, religious affairs, Zakat and Ushr Minister, faced a difficult hour when the opposition pounded him with back-to-back critical questions. The treasury members extended help to the troubled minister to answer the opposition’s questions.
Firdous Shamim Naqvi, the leader of the opposition in the PA who belongs to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, criticised the minister for his replies, saying that Dero’s responses were unsatisfactory.
A question by the Grand Democratic Alliance’s Nusrat Sehar Abbasi about the spending of Rs18 million for the reconstruction of different shrines in Sindh left the minister confused. Abbasi pointed out that despite the expenditure, the rehabilitation work had not completed.
She said the material used in the rehabilitation of shrines was substandard and alleged that the contracts were assigned on the basis of commission. She said that the opposition was aware of the internal affairs of the government which awarded such contracts for corruption.
The GDA MPA was stopped by the speaker to speak further, which prompted her to say that ‘cheating continues’.
Replying to a question, Dero told the House that the construction of Jama Masjid in Sukkur had begun in June 2018 and would complete in June 2019.
On a call attention notice, PTI legislator Shah Nawaz Jadoon invited the government’s attention towards the heaps of garbage in Keamari, Sultanabad, and other areas nearby, saying that the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board had stopped lifting garbage.
Acknowledging the complaints, Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani said the issue of garbage heaps in District West of the city persisted. He informed the PA that the waste management board had taken action against the company concerned for violating its contract with it, after which the task of lifting garbage in the district had been assigned to its respective district municipal corporation.
Arif Mustafa Jatoi of the GDA, on a call attention notice, said that Ali Gul Khaskheli was appointed by the government in the law department despite the fact that he carried a stigma of ‘raping a daughter of Sindh’. He termed the alleged appointment ‘shameful’.
To Jatoi’s remarks, Sindh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla told the PA that the accused man had been removed from the post after the government came to know about his crime.