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KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down immediately as he has lost the moral authority to hold office. The demand was made in a resolution passed by the house.

It says: “His act of concealing the facts of declaring assets, producing fake documents before honourable Supreme Court and its JIT and evading taxes has shattered the confidence of the people of Pakistan. It is, therefore, the considered opinion of this august house that Nawaz Sharif should resign.”

Khairunnisa Mughal of the Pakistan Peoples Party and Khurram Sherzaman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf tabled two identical resolutions before the house.

Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, who presided over the session, earlier tried to persuade the PTI lawmaker to merge his resolution with that of the PPP or remove a technical flaw, but Mr Zaman did not agree to the suggestion.

Before putting the PPP resolution to the house, the chair gave the floor to the lawmakers to express their views on the subject.

Speaking on the occasion, Khurram Sherzaman said since the JIT report had made it clear that Nawaz Sharif made false statements in parliament and produced fake documents before the Supreme Court, he had lost the moral authority to remain in office. Mr Sharif’s continuation in office was a great threat to democracy and political stability in the country, he added.

Khairunnisa Mughal of the PPP said that fraud and betrayal by Mr Sharif had lowered the prestige of Pakistan and brought a bad name to the country. She said the continuation of Mr Sharif in office would prove a disaster for the country’s economy.

Senior Minister Nisar Ahmad Khuhro said the PPP would not allow the PML-N to become a political martyr. “We want that democracy should continue in the country by allowing the PML-N government to complete its term after resignation of Nawaz Sharif,” he added.

Sharmila Farooqui of the PPP said the stock market had crashed after the Panama Papers leaks, but now the entire nation was expecting good news from the Supreme Court.

Saeed Ghani, the recently elected PPP legislator, said his party’s suggestion that Nawaz Sharif should step down was aimed at that he should save dignity of his family. At present, he said, the country was running without any government.

MQM’s deputy parliamentary leader Faisal Sabzwari said the federal government, instead of giving better governance to the country, was busy in presenting arguments in the court. He demanded resignation of the prime minister in the light of the JIT report.

He said the JITs should also be constituted to investigate 179 mega corruption cases pending with the NAB to eliminate the tradition of selective accountability and justice in the country and Article 63(1-n) be applied for eligibility of the membership of parliament.

When the PPP resolution was put to vote, legislators belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-F and N were not present in the house.

Through another resolution presented by Ghazala Sial of the PPP, the house urged the Sindh government to take steps to computerise the record in police stations and introduce e-complaint system.

The house referred the privilege motion of Ghulam Quadir of the PPP against NAB director general Altaf Bawani to the Standing Committee on Procedure and Privileges. The motion pointed out that despite being a public servant the NAB official attacked the sanctity of the legislature in a TV programme. This act of the public servant not only breached the privilege of the mover but also of the entire assembly, it said.

Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2017