KARACHI: General discussion on the Sindh budget for 2017-18 continued in the provincial assembly for the third day on Saturday without any disruption, enabling 21 lawmakers to express their views on the allocations.
Those who spoke included 10 legislators from the opposition. They were Dr Zafar Kamali, Sumeta Afzal and Heer Ismail Soho from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement; Nusrat Sehar Abbasi, Waryam Faqeer and Dr Rafique Bhanban from the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, and Sorath Thebo, Amir Haider Shah Sheerazi, Syed Shah Hussain Sheerazi and Syed Aejaz Shah Sheerazi from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
From the treasury side Khairunnisa Mughal, Faqeerdad Khoso, Rehana Leghari, Dr Lal Chand, Jam Madad Ali, Ziaul Hasan Lanjar, Fayyaz Ahmad Butt, Rukhsana Shah, Sajeela Leghari and Nusrat Sultana spoke.
Nusrat Abbasi determined to speak the ‘truth’ despite ‘threats’ over husband’s job
Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, who called the house in order at 12.10pm, took notice of the inordinate delay in arrival of lawmakers in the house and ordered the relevant staff that an attendance register be kept in the house. If it would be on the rostrum, it would indicate members’ arrival, he said.
An attempt on the life of Jamal Ahmad, an MPA of the MQM, was also brought to the notice of the house during the general discussion by Kamran Akhtar of the MQM, who lodged a protest with other colleagues over the attack.
Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah responding to the MQM concern condemned the incident. He thanked Allah that the lawmaker was not hurt in the incident and assured the house that Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, who was on a visit to Mirpurkhas, had ordered the inspector general of police and the home secretary to carry out an inquiry into the incident and punish the culprits.
During the discussion, PML-F lawmaker Nusrat Sehar Abbasi alleged that she had been receiving threats that if she continued to make long speeches against the government, it could cost her the job of her husband. “I am prepared to sacrifice the job but cannot stop telling the truth,” she remarked.
Another matter which attracted the attention of the house was a slogan raised during the speech of Fayyaz Butt, who in response to the slogan of ‘Kia hua, kia hua’ from the opposition benches, replied ‘Quaid ka khaya, Quaid ko chora’. This slogan became a distraction and instead of continuing the speech the lawmakers for a few minutes engaged in trading slogans. From the MQM benches someone was heard responding to the treasury benches’ ‘Dada giree nahin chalegi’.
Earlier participating in the third day’s general discussion, Pakistan Peoples Party lawmakers greeted the chief minister for presenting “a balanced budget in which big, small cities and villages have been provided funds for development schemes”.
Khairunnisa Mughal, who was the first speaker on Saturday, said lawmakers making hue and cry in the name of development of Karachi were those who feared that the ongoing development work in the city could guarantee their defeat in the coming general election and wanted to divert the attention of the people from their own “sins”. She said that credit for the restoration of peace in Karachi went to the PPP.
Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2017