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February 12, 2019

Sign CoD and take Sindh PAC chairmanship, CM tells PTI

Karachi

February 12, 2019

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said he cannot offer the chairmanship of the Sindh Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee to the opposition as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which is the largest opposition party in the house, is not a signatory to the Charter of Democracy (CoD).

“Please first go and ask Imran Khan to sign the Charter of Democracy with Shahbaz Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari before demanding the chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee here,” the CM said to the Opposition Leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi of the PTI, while speaking at the assembly on Monday.

Shah said the chairmanship of the PAC of the National Assembly had been given to the opposition since 2008 under a tradition set under the CoD to which the leadership of both the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz were signatories.

The CM maintained that this tradition could not be replicated in Sindh as the PTI had not signed the charter. He explained that in the earlier provincial assemblies that were constituted in Sindh after 2008, the opposition leaders were from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional which were also not signatories to the CoD, due to which the PAC chairmanship was not offered to them.

Shah also disclosed in the house that he had failed to reach an understanding with the opposition leader about the formation of standing committees of the assembly.

The CM asked Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani to go ahead with the formation of the standing committees as per routine as he could not reach an agreement with Naqvi. “I could not accept the demands of the opposition leader regarding formation of these committees, which is utterly against the parliamentary norms in practice,” he said.

The CM said the opposition, instead of demanding the PAC chairmanship, should come to the house and perform its due functions there.

As the CM was making these remarks, the opposition lawmakers belonging to the PTI, Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and MQM-Pakistan had already walked out after a heated argument between Sindh Environment and IT Minister Taimur Talpur and GDA lawmaker Nusrat Seher Abbasi.

Later, the house sans opposition legislators unanimously passed a censure motion against the unbecoming conduct of Abbasi during her row with Talpur. The censure motion was moved in the house by PPP legislator Sadia Javed. Speaking on her motion, the PPP lawmaker said the conduct of the unruly GDA MPA in the house had been the cause of insult of the entire house.

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