KARACHI: While the leaders of parliamentary parties were greeted by the speaker on completion of 100 working days in the current parliamentary year of the Sindh Assembly in its fourth year of the current tenure, the opposition leader called for a critical appraisal of the performance of the assembly.
Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani thanked legislators belonging to the government and the opposition for their cooperation and demonstration of tolerance in the business of legislation.
He said that according to the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat), the Sindh Assembly had emerged as number one in terms of legislation.
Extending greeting to the entire house, Senior Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Khuhro said that although it was a constitutional requirement, “we are prepared to run the house business more than 100 days until the next budget session in June”.
Opposition leader calls for critical appraisal of lawmakers’ performance
He expressed his gratitude to the opposition members and said that despite criticising the performance of the government, they largely participated in the legislation and most of the laws had been passed with consensus. He said criticism was a part of parliamentary traditions because it was the assembly where one expressed oneself openly and notice was not taken even by the court.
He expressed the need for evolving a modus operandi so that the words expunged should not come on the media.
Leader of the Opposition Khwaja Izharul Hasan said the completion of 100 working days by the house augured well, but a critical appraisal of the performance was necessary. No doubt the house had discharged its basic responsibility of legislation, but the laws were not implemented for want of rules. He said that several laws passed by the house with consensus since 2011 were still pending, including over 30 laws of public importance.
Similarly, he said, the house advisory committee was not yet formed. Some 70 to 72 legislators from the opposition had complaints of having been ignored by the PPP majority, he regretted.
Samar Ali Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf said that “we all are here to serve the people as elected members of the house like the members on the treasury benches” and as such the opposition’s point of view ought to be heard and accommodated.
Mehtab Akbar Rashdi of the PML-F said that rules for the laws passed by the assembly should be framed by the departments concerned in time so that these could be implemented and people could get relief.
Earlier, bitter words were exchanged between Deputy Speaker Syeda Shehla Raza, who was presiding over the session, and Dewan Chand Chawla of the MQM when the latter on a point of order tried to raise the issue of an expectant mother who was not provided medical facility in a government hospital in Sukkur and had delivered her baby in a rickshaw.
The deputy speaker advised him to raise the matter after the Question Hour, but when he did not take his seat his mike was switched off.
Mr Chawla also used some harsh words and was heard saying that he was not the servant of anyone.
At this, the deputy speaker warned the lawmaker to behave lest ‘something’ could happen to him.
Some members of the opposition objected to the remarks of the chair, but she responded by saying maybe “my way is wrong. But you all are wrong”.
Faisal Sabzwari of the MQM criticised the deputy speaker for her attitude and said if she wanted to snub Mr Chawla she should use appropriate words.
Sukkur IBA University
On completion of 100 working days, the Sindh Assembly gave the ‘gift’ of the Sukkur IBA University to the people of the province by adopting a bill unanimously opening the door for its youth for quality education in the public sector.
In the Sukkur IBA University Bill, 2017, which was tabled by Nisar Khuhro after brief discussion on its general principles, a clause was added on a suggestion made by Syed Sardar Ahmad and Sumeta Afzal for nomination of two members of the assembly by the speaker to the senate which will be responsible for the governance of the university.
The other bill, The ZA Bhutto Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases Bill, 2017, was deferred to the next working day after Tuesday, which is a private members’ day.
Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro, while responding to a call attention notice of Mohammad Rashid Khilji of the MQM about dilapidated roads and damaged sewerage system in PS-46 Hyderabad, said some of the ADP schemes were under implementation in Hyderabad and Latifabad and those left would be included in the next financial year.
In response to a question by MQM’s Syed Qamar Abbas about the May 11 terrorist attack on a house in Osmania Sabir Colony near Central Jail, Senior Minister Nisar Khuhro said the FIR of the incident had already been registered on the complaint of Muzaffar Hussain.
He assured the MQM lawmaker that the matter was under investigation and the culprit would be arrested soon.
Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2017