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June 19, 2019

Requisition for current PA session had five fake signatures: Ismail


June 19, 2019

In another surprise move, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail has termed the ongoing session of the provincial assembly, during which the new budget was presented, “illegal ab initio (from the beginning)”. According to him, the requisition for convening the session contained fraudulent signatures of some of the treasury lawmakers.

Last week, through a letter sent by his principal secretary, the governor had asked the PA secretary for the requisition submitted by the treasury lawmakers so he could verify their signatures.

The Pakistan Peoples Party’s MPAs had submitted a requisition to the PA secretariat on June 10, following which the current session of the House has been under way since June 12. Two days later, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had presented the provincial budget for 2019-20.

In his June 17 letter to PA Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani, the governor claimed that the requisition contained signatures of five MPAs that were put there fraudulently, as they were not even in Karachi when the requisition was submitted.

Wahab’s response

Talking to the media at an event on Tuesday, CM’s law adviser Murtaza Wahab questioned the ability of the governor to verify the signatures of the MPAs, saying that Ismail was not a technical expert. “Had the same objection been raised by members of the assembly, it would’ve been plausible.”

He said the governor’s objection over convening the PA session was baseless. “Instead of uploading videos of cricket on Twitter, it’s better for the governor to play some constitutional role.” he added.

“All over the world the opposition desires convening the session [of the assembly], while here the opposition is complaining over summoning the session,” said Wahab. “The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is only good for talking, while the Pakistan Peoples Party [PPP] will continue to serve.”

Regarding the move to declare the chamber of the PA speaker a sub-jail, he said that the same law that empowered the National Accountability Bureau chairman to issue arrest warrants also authorised the home department to declare the speaker’s chamber a sub-jail.

General discussion

The PA continued the general discussion on the new provincial budget for the second consecutive day on Tuesday, with a number of treasury and opposition lawmakers taking part in the debate.

The opposition legislators who took part in the general discussion censured the provincial government for its “complete failure to provide the basic necessities of life to the masses of the province despite the party being in power since the past 11 years”.

The treasury MPAs eulogised the services and initiatives of the PPP’s provincial administration in various sectors of governance to serve the people of Sindh in best of manners.

Taking part in the general discussion, opposition MPA Mangla Sharma of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan said that the new provincial budget contained lesser number of schemes for the minority community of Hindus in Sindh.

She claimed that instances were taking place in the province where girls belonging to the Hindu community were being misled in order to get them to change their religion.

She said that a lot of time had passed but the Sindh government had yet to establish a provincial commission for the religious minorities, adding that the law earlier passed by the House to prevent marriages of minor girls was not being implemented in the province.