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August 22, 2020

Opposition creates ruckus in PA after permission to speak on Keamari district denied

Karachi

August 22, 2020

The opposition in the Sindh Assembly on Friday vociferously protested against the Sindh cabinet’s decision to form another district in Karachi and staged a walkout from the House against what it termed the political move of the Sindh government to declare the Keamari area as the seventh district of the city.

The opposition legislators strongly protested and staged the walkout on the first day of the new session of the assembly as they were not granted permission by Deputy Speaker Rehana Laghari to discuss the move of the Sindh government to establish a seventh district in Karachi.

Owing to vocal protests by opposition lawmakers, the assembly could not hold the question hour as part of the assembly’s agenda. The lone legislator of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal in the legislature, Syed Abdul Rasheed, was the first one to walk out in protest after he was denied permission to speak on the issue.

After Rasheed, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) MPA Muhammad Hussain Khan was also not granted permission by the chair to speak on the formation of a new district in Karachi, following which legislators of the MQM-P resorted to vocal protest in the House. They also held posters carrying slogans against the Sindh government’s decision to form a new district in Karachi.

The MQM-P’s legislators surrounded the rostrum of the speaker during their protest. They raised slogans“Division of Karachi unacceptable” and “formation of politicised district unacceptable”. The protest by the opposition MPAs resulted in chaos and the deputy speaker was unable to conduct the question hour.

Later, the MPAs of MQM-P and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf walked out of the House. The legislators of the two remaining opposition parties, Grand Democratic Alliance and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan, however, did not walk out and kept sitting in the assembly. The protesting lawmakers came back after sometime after ending their boycott of the proceedings of the session.

Five bills passed

Meanwhile, the House unanimously passed into law five bills in accordance with the recommendation sent by the federal government to meet Pakistan’s obligations related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The bills passed by the legislature included the Sindh Waqf Properties Bill 2020, Sindh Seized and Frozen Facilities (Hospitals and Dispensaries) Bill 2020, Sindh Trust Bill 2020, Sindh Seized and Frozen Institutions (Madaris and Schools) Bill 2019, and Sindh Cooperative Societies Bill 2020.

The leader of the opposition in the Sindh Assembly, PTI’s Firdous Shamim Naqvi, said the prestige of Pakistan was most dear to them but the bills should not be passed in such a hurried manner as they had not got the chance to read them.

He said the government should inform the House about its compulsions to get the bills approved from the assembly so hurriedly. He said that next time, the opposition would not accept the passage of bills in such a manner that went against the sanctity and traditions of the assembly.

MQM-P lawmakers Khawaja Izharul Hassan and Khan also said they did not get ample time to go through the contents of the bills and so they were unable to participate in the process of legislation.

Sindh Minister for Cooperation Department Jam Ikramullah Khan Dharejo informed the legislature that the Sindh Cooperative Societies Bill 2020 was aimed at preventing money laundering in the financial affairs related to the purchase and sale of land pertaining to cooperative societies in the province.

Sindh Auqaf Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal said the Sindh Waqf Properties Bill was aimed at preventing misuse of finances related to the income generated by the Auqaf properties in the province as demanded by the FATF regime.

MQM-P’s Hassan said that owing to the international importance of these bills, their rules should be readily framed by the government for implementation.

Tribute to second caliph

Meanwhile, the house unanimously passed a resolution to pay homage to the second pious caliph Hazrat Omar Farooq (RA) on the occasion of his day of martyrdom. The resolution was tabled in the House by TLP’s woman legislator Sarwat Fatima. It said that during the regime of Hazrat Omar (RA), 22,550,000 square miles area was conquered and made part of the Islamic caliphate. The resolution also read that the regime of Hazrat Omar (RA) was an exemplary government for the entire world as it established the rule of law and provided justice to its citizens.