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March 26, 2016

PA session adjourned till April 6 over lack of quorum


March 26, 2016

Opposition parties slam ‘hasty’ adjournment, say ruling party wants to avoid discussion on issues


The Sindh Assembly session was adjourned on Friday till April 6 without holding any proceedings over lack of quorum, much to the opposition’s ire.

The sitting on Friday, held after a gap of two days, was scheduled to begin at 10am but Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani adjourned it at around 11:05am when only 13 lawmakers on both treasury and opposition benches were present.

Of them, seven legislators were of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, two each of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and one each of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz.

The speaker adjourned the session when parliamentary affairs minister Nisar Khuhro pointed out the lack of quorum. The session was adjourned without the recitation of the Holy Quran and Naat, a norm at the beginning of every sitting.

Before adjourning the session, the speaker remarked that he had waited for over an hour but the required number of members had not turned up.

Durrani said he had warned several times earlier that he would begin the proceedings on time so the lawmakers should ensure their punctuality.

He said at least the parliamentary leaders of political parties should ensure their presence in the House on time so that the rest of the legislators would follow suit.

Durrani said he would adjourn the session again in the future if the lawmakers did not turn up on time. 

The quorum requirement calls for the presence of at least one-third members the total 168 in the House.

Opposition unhappy

Later talking to reporters, the parliamentary leaders of the PML-F and the MQM said the speaker had shown undue haste in adjourning the session and not fulfilled the requirements as per rules of the assembly.

They said the speaker had acted against the understanding reached between the treasury and opposition that at the start of every sitting, no one would point out the lack of quorum and sitting would begin for taking up at least the ‘question hour’.

MQM parliamentary leader Syed Sardar Ahmed criticised the manner in which the speaker adjourned the session without waiting for lawmakers to turn up.

He said that lawmakers belonging to the opposition party had protested against the hasty manner in which the session was adjourned.

Another lawmaker of MQM, Syed Khalid Ahmed, said as the current session had been convened on the requisition of the government and not on the opposition’s requisition it was the solemn obligation of the treasury side to fulfil the quorum.

He said as the provincial government had failed to deliver to the people of Sindh, the lawmakers of the ruling party were avoiding the proceedings of the assembly.

PML-F parliamentary leader Nand Kumar said the government was not serious about discussing public issues and the session was being continued just to fulfil the constitutional requirement of holding it for at least 100 days in a parliamentary year.

He added that the speaker had adjourned the session because the treasury side was in no mood to allow it to continue and wanted to prevent the oath-taking of newly elected legislator Muhammad Ismail Rahu of the PML-N from taking place.

He said had the session on Friday been run in a proper manner as per the norms, the PML-N lawmaker would have taken oath but the ruling party did not want to concede its defeat in recently held re-election.

Rahu had emerged victorious in the PS-59 in Dadu district defeating the PPP candidate Muhammad Nawaz Chandio when a re-election was held in 37 polling stations of the constituency on March 15. The election commission had issued a notification declaring Rahu the returned candidate for the PS-59. 


Adjournment motion

Kumar also submitted an adjournment motion to the assembly secretariat to discuss the issue of the death of over 40 people after consuming poisonous home-brewed liquor earlier in the month in the town of Tando Mohammad Khan.

Talking to reporters, Kumar alleged that the session had been adjourned as the government wanted to avoid a debate on the issue.

He said that provincial government could not run away from its solemn obligations regarding the lives and safety of the people and the treasury side should not remain under the impression that by adjourning the session for so many days, the public would forget the issue.

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