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KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly passed a resolution on Wednesday condemning “genocide and ethnic cleansing” of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

After brief speeches by parliamentary leaders Syed Sardar Ahmad of the MQM, Nisar Ahmad Khuhro of the PPP, Nand Kumar of the PML-F and Samar Ali Khan of the PTI, the resolution was carried unanimously.

The assembly urged United Nations Secretary General António Guterres to intervene in the matter immediately.

The resolution criticised Myanmar leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi for remaining silent over the issue.

It asked the government of Pakistan to take up the matter with the UN and thank the Bangladesh government for providing refuge to the Rohingya.

The house requested the Sindh government to donate some funds as a token relief to the Rohingya refugees languishing in camps in Bangladesh.

Centre criticised for increasing petroleum prices; prime minister urged to release zakat funds

The house adopted two other resolutions tabled by Khairunnisa Mughal of the PPP and Sardar Ahmad of the MQM with consensus.

One resolution condemned the recent increase in prices of petroleum products by the federal government and the other called for release of zakat funds for 2017-18 to Sindh.

The house asked the Sindh government to approach the federal government seeking withdrawal of increase in prices of petroleum products because this step had badly affected the economy and general public.

The lawmakers severely criticised the federal government for increasing petroleum prices.

Speaking on the resolution, Ms Mughal said the prices of petroleum products in the global market had come down during the tenure of the present government from $165 to $35 per barrel, but people were still deprived of any relief.

PML-F lawmaker Shaharyar Mahar pointed out that the price fluctuations in the international market did not reflect immediately in Pakistan because the government purchased petroleum products on soft loan for six months and called for a change in the policy.

PML-N lawmaker Sorath Thebo opposed the resolution.

Through the other resolution, the assembly appealed to the prime minister to release zakat funds to Sindh immediately as the delay was resulting in hardships to 100,000 families whose living depended on the monthly emolument from the Zakat fund as well as students and patients.

The assembly lodged a protest over a recent statement of a federal minister in the Senate who called the people who opposed Kalabagh dam “Indian agents”.

PPP lawmaker Ghazala Siyal, who raised the issue on a point of order, said the entire assembly condemned the minister’s statement and demanded him to apologise to all MNAs, MPAs and people of Sindh.

Speaking on the point of order of Ghazala Siyal, PPP parliamentary leader Nisar Khuhro condemned the federal minister for declaring opponents of Kalabagh dam as Indian agents. He said the PML-N government from time to time raised this dead issue though Nawaz Sharif himself was on record saying that the Kalabagh dam project had been dropped.

Three reports of the auditor General of Pakistan on the accounts of public sector enterprises of Sindh for 2016-17, a report on the accounts of provincial zakat fund, provincial level health institutions and district zakat committees for the audit year 2016-17 and printed books of appropriation accounts (Vol 1 to 5 ) and financial statements of government of Sindh for the year 2014-15 were laid before the house and referred to the Public Accounts Committee with the instruction to refer its report within one year.

Earlier, responding to a calling-attention notice of Syed Qamar Rizvi of the MQM for declaring people encroachers for removing the employees living in Gandhi Garden in the name of development work in the Karachi zoo, Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro assured the house that action would be taken only against illegal occupants of the quarters meant for the employees. The Gandhi Garden is part of an anti-encroachment drive launched by the KMC.

In reply to another notice of Qamar Abbas Rizvi, the minister informed the house that due to encroachment from Teen Hatti to Lasbela people were facing difficulties and an anti-encroachment drive would be launched from Nov 13 in which the Sindh government would fully cooperate.

In reply to a calling-attention notice of Rafique Bhanban of PML-F about Mehran Highway reconstruction despite its good condition, Jam Khan Shoro said he would personally visit the substandard construction work from Ranipur to Nawabshah and initiate action if complaint was found correct.

In response to a notice of PML-F parliamentary leader Nand Kumar for not paying compensation to the family of ASI Tabasum who was killed while on duty with a polio team, Home Minister Anwar Siyal assured the house that compensation and other dues, including pension, would soon be paid to the bereaved family.

Speaker Shehla Raza presided over the session.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2017