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KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Wednesday carried The Sindh Arms (Amendment) Bill, 2016 making ballistic signature obligatory for purchasing weapons.

The amendment, which was made to the Sindh Arms Act 2013, was aimed at facilitating investigation of targeted killings, terrorism and other cases through a state-of-the-art forensic lab.

After presentation of the report of the standing committee on home affairs of the assembly, the amendment bill was tabled by Sindh Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmad Khuhro. After the third reading, the bill was carried unanimously.

According to the amendment to Section 4 by including subsection 4-A in the Sindh Arms Act, arms dealers shall ensure by taking verified thumb impressions of the purchasers from National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) and taking copies of their computerized national identity card and other particulars which would be notified from time to time. The same would be forwarded to the forensic lab for record keeping.

Earlier, an adjournment motion of PTI lawmaker Khurram Sherzaman regarding illegal weapons in Sindh was opposed by the minister. Mr Sherzaman said the minister opposed every motion of the public interest and staged a walkout in protest.

Speaker Agha Siraj Durrnai, who had called the house to order at 10.45am, ruled the adjourned motion out of order.

In response to the call attention notice of MQM lawmaker Saifuddin Khalid, Health Minister Dr Sikander Mandhro conceded that there was a shortage of staff in Mansoor Nagar Hospital, Sector 11-1/2, Orangi Town. He said the government had asked the Sindh Public Service Commission to recruit 4,500 doctors but the commission recommended 400 specialists doctors for appointment.

In response to the notice of PML-N lawmaker Amir Haider Shirazi, the health minister assured the house that doctors’ shortage in Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Mirpur Sakro, in Thatta would soon be met and the doctors evading their duty would be taken to task.

Responding to the notice of MQM lawmaker Jamal Ahmad, minister for local bodies Jam Khan Shoro informed the house that the government had released Rs500 million for cleaning and repairing of storm water drains in Karachi, because the grant being given to district municipal corporations was consumed in paying salaries to their employees. Every DMC was given Rs20 million for cleaning the drains.

In response to the notice of PTI lawmaker Dr Seema Zia, the minister informed the house that the government had removed billboards and illegal water hydrants from Karachi city on the Supreme Court order. He said the government had suggested cable operators to provide them ducts along the newly built roads in the city.

Replying to the call attention notice of Mr Sherzaman, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said educational boards would be rid of the corruption and no one would be spared. He said recently the anti-corruption establishment had raided the offices of the Board of Intermediate, 95 copies were seized and two officers were arrested, one of them, an assistant controller, was later granted bail. Further enquiries were under way and those found guilty would be punished, he added.

He also referred good work of the board by pointing out that the girl student who topped the intermediate examination belonged to an underprivileged family.

MQM legislator Faisal Sabzwari on a point of order drew attention of the house that despite ongoing targeted operation against criminals, terrorists were targeting political workers, particularly MQM workers, in Landhi, Korangi, Malir, Lines Area and other localities. The government ought to control the terrorists, he added.

MRD martyrs

The house also paid tributes to martyrs and participants in the Movement for Restoration of Democracy between 1983 and 1986 by a resolution which was read out by PPP lawmaker Ghualam Quadir Chandio with endorsement signatures from scores of lawmakers.On Sept 29, 1983, Mr Chandio recalled, that 16 youths were martyred and 52 others were injured while many others were arrested by the dictatorial regime of General Zia-ul-Haq for raising voice for the restoration of democracy in Goth Punhal Khan Chandio. “We salute them and vow to the martyrs that if ever, the democracy is threatened, the PPP leadership along with its workers will not hesitate to give any sacrifice.”

Terming the present democratic order in the country the outcome of the great sacrifices given by the people, particularly the PPP leadership and its workers, from the platform of the MRD had no precedent in history.

PML-N lawmaker Mohammad Ismail Rahu and MQM legislator Heer Soho said the best way to pay tribute to the martyrs and MRD participants was to eliminate corruption, ensure merit, rule of law and social justice.

The resolution read, “This house pays glaring tributes to martyrs of the Movement for Restoration of Democracy in 1983 to 1986. The exemplary sacrifices of workers from village Puhanal Khan Chandio, Sakrand, District Shaheed Benazirabad are laudable wherein 16 youth were martyred and 52 seriously injured.”

After adoption of the resolution, the speaker called it a day to reassemble on Thursday at 10am.

Published in Dawn September 29th, 2016