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August 23, 2019

PA sitting marred as allegations hurled over singer’s abduction


August 23, 2019

The situation in the provincial assembly turned volatile on Thursday as a minister and an opposition lawmaker hurled allegations against each other during the session after the latter accused the Sindh government of patronising dacoits.

The inflammatory remark of Haleem Adil Sheikh, the parliamentary party leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the PA, resulted in a shouting match between him and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla, as they levelled allegations against each other.

The situation became so vitiated that PA Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani had to expunge unparliamentary remarks contained in the allegations that were traded between the two antagonistic legislators.

The situation had turned tense after the case of the kidnapping of renowned Sindhi folk singer Jigar Jalal was mentioned during the sitting of the House by the PTI lawmaker. He was, however, later released.

Speaking on a calling-attention notice, Sheikh said that the claim of the Sindh government that the law and order situation in the province had improved was exposed after police officials were martyred in Shikarpur.

The opposition MPA raised the question as to why a police operation was not being conducted in Shikarpur, as if gold of some influential personality had been hidden there. He claimed that the situation in Shikarpur gave the impression that someone influential was being extended undue help there.

He said that Jalal had been kidnapped there, and a private TV news channel had been given access to him, but the local police were yet to locate him. He raised the question as to why the Rangers had not been called in to recover the kidnapped folk singer from Shikarpur. “When the Sindh government patronises dacoits, then the situation is bound to worsen.”

He claimed that in his capacity as the excise & taxation minister, Chawla had been responsible for making the use of heroin and alcohol common across the province. The provincial minister retorted that everybody knows well about the ill-fame of the opposition legislator, as the MPA will be held accountable for his involvement in acts of illegal occupation of land.

The lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in the House stood up from their seats and resorted to a loud protest in the assembly against the remarks of the opposition MPA. Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh said that the maintenance of law and order is the foremost responsibility of the provincial government, adding that the situation has improved a lot in this regard.

He claimed that the situation of peace in District Shikarpur had been exemplary earlier, but certain districts of the province had lately seen a decline in the law and order condition. He clarified that the provincial government had never backed criminal elements in the province. He said that the authority of the police in the province had not been undermined. He, however, admitted that Shikarpur had witnessed the killing of 22 people in just a month.

Speaking on another calling-attention notice, Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah conceded that sewerage issues exist in Surjani Town. He said the provincial government had started planning to replace the old sewerage lines of the locality, adding that this plan will soon be implemented.

PTI lawmaker Khurrum Sher Zaman said the ministers assigned to the local government department keep on changing without making any improvements in any of the municipal conditions of the province.

He said that the civic situation of the entire province, including that of Karachi, has worsened. He added that up to 40 per cent of the city is yet to be cleaned up to clear the municipal mess created after the recent monsoon rains.

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