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Sunday May 19, 2024

PTI MPAs bring charpoy to Sindh Assembly as mock coffin of democracy

By Our Correspondent
June 29, 2021

The Sindh Assembly turned like a theatre on Monday as opposition lawmakers brought with them a charpoy inside the House to symbolise democracy’s funeral.

Utter chaos prevailed in the House during the proceedings of the session due to vocal protests by the legislators belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) near the rostrum of the speaker.

The uniformed security staff of the provincial assembly had to literally wrestle with the PTI lawmakers as they made an attempt to forcibly bring a charpoy inside the assembly hall when the session was in progress.

After stiff resistance the security staff of the assembly backed by the legislators on the treasury benches thwarted the unusual attempt to bring the charpoy past the chairs of the legislators in the hall. Luckily no one was hurt in the attempt.

Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani asked the assembly staff to immediately remove the charpoy from the assembly hall. A woman legislator of the PTI, during the tense situation, was heard saying to the security staff that she shouldn’t be touched. Later, the sloganeering legislators of the PTI staged a protest sit-in near the rostrum of the speaker with a banner on which it was written in Urdu that it was democracy’s funeral.

The PTI MPAs resorted to protest after the leader of the opposition, Haleem Adil Sheikh of the PTI, and parliamentary party leaders of the opposition parties did not get the chance to take part in the general discussion on the new provincial budget in the assembly.

The PTI legislators said that the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party in the province had acted in sheer disregard for the democratic norms and hence, the opposition had no choice but to hold the symbolic funeral of democracy. Owing to the vociferous protest and serious commotion in the House, almost all the items on the agenda of the session were not discussed in any meaningful manner except that the house once more adopted the Sindh Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners Bill 2021 amid unruly scenes.

The commotion started at the outset of the proceedings when the opposition leader sought permission from the chair to speak on a point of order. The speaker said that he would grant opportunity to the opposition leader to speak after the question hour. However, Sheikh insisted that he be immediately granted opportunity to speak. Later his microphone was turned off. The speaker took strong exception to PTI lawmakers bringing a charpoy in the House. He said the incident had gravely violated the sanctity of the assembly. He announced he would take action against erring legislators involved in the incident.

Sindh Parliamentary Affairs’ Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla also expressed serious resentment against the opposition MPAs. The chair later adjourned the session till 2pm today (Tuesday).