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PTI walks out of PA after lawmaker’s microphone switched off

PTI walks out of PA after lawmaker’s microphone switched off

Lawmakers belonging to Sindh’s main opposition party walked out of the provincial assembly on Tuesday after one of their colleagues was stopped from completing his speech on the recently presented government budget.

The PA continued discussing the Sindh government’s budget for the financial year 2021-22 for a fourth day. The House witnessed a protest after the microphone of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) legislator Adeel Ahmed was switched off in the middle of his budget speech.

The lawmaker reportedly made some inappropriate remarks against the Sindh chief minister, following which he was denied the opportunity to complete his speech before the legislature. This prompted the PTI’s legislators to protest, and before walking out of the assembly, they claimed that their microphones are switched off whenever they voice their concerns for the rights of Sindh. They also claimed that the resources of the province are being plundered.

Earlier, before his speech was cut off, MPA Ahmed had claimed that the Covid emergency had rendered some three million youth of the province jobless while the provincial government had done nothing for their rehabilitation. He also claimed that the Sindh government’s public-private partnership programme is meant only for minting money.

PTI lawmaker Khurrum Sher Zaman claimed that Punjab had benefited from the 18th constitutional amendment, while damage had been done in the case of Sindh. He said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has been in power in the province for almost 13 years but it has failed to provide a viable public transportation system to Karachi. He also accused the ruling party of using water hydrants in the city to pilfer public money.

Zaman said that the entire Karachi has been suffering due to the unavailability of potable water because the CM has failed to fulfil his responsibilities towards the province.

He said the prime minister had gifted 52 fire engines for Karachi in view of the plight of the city’s fire brigade. He also said that 42,000 vehicles had been stolen and 32,000 mobile phones snatched in the city during the past year because the Sindh government had failed to complete the Safe City Project.

He asked where the vehicles of the Chinese contractors had gone that were brought to Karachi to dispose of the city’s municipal waste. He said Sindh’s children are dying due to frequent dog-bite cases but the government has other priorities like issuing licences for running liquor shops in Karachi.

PPP legislator Rana Hamir Singh stressed the need to use modern technology to overcome water shortage in the city. He said Tharis should be provided with free solar-powered water pumps because the reverse-osmosis water filtration plant in the desert area had become defective.

He demanded that 750 RO plants in the area should be made functional again to provide potable water to the residents. He said the company that had been contracted for the plants had cheated the public.

PTI lawmaker Sidra Imran claimed that the federal government accounted for up to 72 per cent of the Sindh government’s budget, and that up to 77 per cent of the provincial budget was being wasted by the elite rulers. She said Sindh had become “the most backward province due to the PPP’s failed policies”.

Grand Democratic Alliance legislator Ali Gohar Khan Mahar said they will support Sindh’s case if the Indus River System Authority has been committing injustice towards the province in terms of supplying its inhabitants with their due share of river water.