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Friday April 12, 2024

Newly-elected members of Sindh Assembly sworn-in

Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani administered the oath to 146 members as they chanted slogans in the assembly

By Kamran Razi & Web Desk
February 24, 2024

Newly elected MPAs are taking oath at the Sindh Assembly's inaugural session in Karachi on February 24, 2024. — Geo News  

KARACHI: The newly-elected members of the Sindh Assembly took oath on Saturday (today) after the inaugural session began with a brief delay amid tight security.

The session commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran after which Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani administered the oath to 148 members as they chanted slogans in the assembly. 

Some members did not take oath for different reasons including a couple of senators who got elected on provincial seats. Meanwhile, notification for Ameer Jamat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman has not been issued after he announced he would be relinquishing his provincial assembly seat, PS-129, and a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Abdul Aziz Junejo, elected on PS-80, after he passed away.

Earlier before the session, workers of the Qaumi Awami Tehreek staged protests against alleged rigging in the recently held general elections. 

The police also arrested 10 workers of the party including women who were protesting outside the Sindh Assembly. The law enforcement officials also baton-charged the protestors.

The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), PTI and Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-Haqiqi), announced they would stage a joint peaceful protest outside the Sindh Assembly on the occasion of the inaugural session of the house.

GDA Secretary Information Sardar Abdul Raheem said that their protest in Sindh was against stealing the people’s mandate, warning that the demonstrations would keep intensifying till their mandate was returned.

Workers of political parties also staged protests near the Sindh Assembly with many detained and transferred to the police station. Several female workers also clashed with the police.

MQM-P nominates members for speaker, deputy speaker slots

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) MPA Syed Waseem said his party nominated Sofia Saeed for the speaker’s slot and Rashid Khan for deputy speaker. He said MQM-P wanted resolution of the province’s issues in coordination with other parties.

He said the political parties should do their party politics but should reduce people’s troubles.

The MQM-P leader said the ones who were defeated in the past levelled allegations of rigging. They should approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) if they had evidence of rigging as blocking roads would not benefit them. 

Issues to be resolved in collab with other parties

PPP’s CM nominee Murad Ali Shah said he had already told how many seats they would get. They secured victory on more seats than expected, he said.

Shah said Pakistan faced copious issues which would be resolved in collaboration with other parties.

People’s assembly banned

The Sindh government imposed Section 144 in the south zone in anticipation of the protest by the political parties to prevent any harm to security and order.

"... the Government of Sindh, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 144 (6) Cr.PC, hereby imposes a ban on public assembly, gatherings, protests, processions, and demonstrations in South Zone Karachi Division for a period of 30 days with immediate effect," stated the provincial government's notification issued late Friday.

It further notifies, "In pursuance of Section 195 (i) (a) Cr.PC, the S.H.Os of the concerned Police Station are hereby authorised to register complaints under Section 188 PPC in writing for the violation of Section 144 CrPC against the violators of this Notification."

Meanwhile, Sindh's interior minister, Brigadier (Retired) Haris Nawaz, said Section 144 is now in effect in the area around the building of the provincial assembly; hence, no marches or protests can be held nearby.

Nawaz stressed that strict security measures have been taken to protect the area around the assembly to ensure a law and order situation. The interior minister issued a stern warning, saying that strict legal actions await those who disrupt peace or engage in unlawful activities.

"Any troublemakers will face consequences," Nawaz declared, calling for cooperation between the public, the police, and other law enforcement agencies.

Traffic diversion

On the other hand, the arteries leading to the Sindh Assembly have been blocked by placing containers on them. The road leading to Burns Road from the Sindh Assembly has also been blocked with containers.

The vehicular traffic coming from Fawwara Chowk, Sindh Club and Saddar will not go via MR Kiyani Chowk. Traffic police said traffic would be diverted from here towards Awan e Saddar and Khajoor Chowk. The traffic coming from II Chundrigar Road will not be allowed to go towards MR Kiyani Chowk either and will be diverted towards Khajoor Chowk or Pakistan Chowk.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Asad Raza South said that the heavy police force has been deployed on Sharea Faisal for security and also around the Sindh Assembly.

He added that the road from Baloch Colony to Metropol is also partially closed.