KARACHI: The Sindh United Party will challenge the election of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Rehman Malik and Farooq H. Naek and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Barrister Saif and Mian Ateeq Shaikh — all non-Sindhis — as senators from Sindh, said SUP president Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah at a press conference at Haider Manzil here on Tuesday.
He said since candidates hailing from other provinces had been elected to the Senate, the upper house of parliament now did not have actual representatives from Sindh.
Mr Shah said Pakistan being a federation had two houses of parliament –– the National Assembly comprising elected representatives of the people and the Senate where states/provinces were represented on the basis of equality of nationalities.
He said with the creation of Bangladesh representation of the provinces in the Senate was given on an equality basis, but through the 18th amendment to the Constitution the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Islamabad were also given representation in the Senate, protecting the constitutional amendment passed with ill intent by ex-dictator Pervez Musharraf.
The SUP leader said that with the representation of Fata and Islamabad, the Senate had become imbalanced. Moreover, certain political parties by getting elected candidates of other provinces from Sindh and Punjab had turned it into a house of non-representatives, which could be an attempt to eliminate national entities.
“In our opinion, in the given situation the Senate has become a non-representative house, which has made the representation and identity of Sindh in the Senate ineffective, for which the PPP, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the MQM are responsible,” he said.
He said his party had decided to file a petition against the election of PPP senators Rehman Malik and Farooq H. Naek as well as two senators of the MQM from Sindh — Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif and Mian Mohammad Ateeq Shaikh — to get them disqualified and real representation of Sindh in the Senate restored.
Mr Shah said the SUP had also decided to challenge the decision of the Sindh government to illegally allot the land reclaimed from the Malir river to Bahria Town for its township project, which could lead to the inundation of Karachi in rains.
He said the party had also decided to launch a mass contact campaign in April to create awareness of corruption, lawlessness, unemployment and religious extremism, and to commemorate the death anniversary of G.M. Syed on April 26 in Karachi.
Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2015