KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly, which meets after a break of four months, may not take up formal business on Thursday despite having a heavy agenda including the issue of extending policing powers to Rangers.

The day will, however, see the return of 51 Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmakers to the house for the first time after the withdrawal of their resignations. The MQM lawmakers had tendered their resignations on Aug 12, citing reservations over the Rangers-led targeted operations in Karachi.

Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, who will chair the session scheduled to begin on Thursday at 10 am, will administer the oath to the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Noor Ahmad Bhurgari and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s Jam Madad Ali after Fateha for the PPP-Parliamentarian president MNA Makhdoom Amin Fahim and MPA Jameel Ahmad Bhurgari.

Noor Ahmad Bhurgari has been elected to the house in the recent by-election on PS- 67 seat that had fallen vacant on the demise of Jameel Ahmad Bhurgari, while Jam Madad Ali’s seat PS-81 was restored after the Supreme Court unseated Asghar Ali Junejo.

As per tradition, a panel of four chairmen, who will preside over the assembly session in the absence of the speaker and the deputy speaker, in order of seniority will also be announced on Thursday.

In its 22nd session of the third parliamentary year, the Sindh Assembly has 22 items on the agenda including the government resolution regarding ratification of extension of policing powers to the Rangers in relation to Article 147 of the Constitution.

Other items on the agenda include laying the reports of biannual monitoring on the implementation of NFC Award in 2014, the quarterly report (April-June 2015) on receipt of the province 2014-15, current revenue expenditure, current capital expenditure and development expenditure of 2014-15.

Also on the agenda is an adjournment motion of PML-F lawmaker Nand Kumar regarding suffering of people due to dilapidated roads in Sanghar.

Besides, announcement will be made regarding the bills assented by the governor pertaining to Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences, Sindh Local Government Third Amendment, Sindh Zakat and Ushr amendment bill, Barret Hodgson International University, Sindh Board of Technical Education (amendment), Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (amendment) bill, Malir University of Sciences and Technology, Karachi, bill, and Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhuto Medical University, Larkana, (amendment) bill, 2015.

The government bills included in the order of the day for introduction are Sindh Boards of Intermediate and Secondary Education (Amendment); Sindh Bonded Labour System (Abolition); Sindh Payment of Wages; Sindh Factories; Sindh Terms of Employment (standing orders); Sindh Workers Compensation; Sindh Companies Profits (workers’ participation); Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment); Societies Registration (Amendment); and Sindh Minimum Wages Bill of 2015.

Meanwhile, about the Rangers policing power, Senior Minister for Education and Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmad Khuhro told the media that the Rangers job was elimination of targeted killing, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and terrorism, while for any other action the Rangers were required to take prior permission from the chief minister under Article 147 of the Constitution. He said the government would take permission from the provincial assembly for extending stay of the Rangers in Sindh before taking up the resolution related to the extension of their policing powers on which members could express their views.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2015