KARACHI: With three major opposition parties staying away from the house, the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday saw a rare smooth sailing as it paid rich tribute to Hosh Mohammad Sheedi, who died while fighting against the British forces in 1843.
The day’s proceedings resumed more than three hours behind the scheduled time as Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani was meeting Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who also presided over a meeting of the PPP’s parliamentary party.
A number of opposition members arrived on the assembly’s premises and some of them spoke to reporters, repeating their demand that the government make the opposition leader the head of the Public Accounts Committee.
PPP’s Tanzeela Sheedi moved a resolution out of turn in which she said March 24 would mark the death anniversary of General Hosh Mohammad, better known as Hoshoo Sheedi, who died while fighting the marauding British forces at the place of Dubbo in 1843.
The mover herself is the first-ever member of the house belonging to the Sheedis, a community of African descent.
The house adopts a resolution against alarming hike in gas, petrol, power tariffs
She said the fallen general died while saying that “we’ll die but will not surrender Sindh”.
She asked the provincial government to make arrangements so that children in schools can be informed about Hosh Mohammad and his sacrifices for the land.
Education Minister Sardar Shah supported the resolution and added that Hoshoo had greater links with Mir Sobdar who conspired along with the British to dislodge his uncle from Hyderabad, yet the former decided not to go the way his master and friend had gone. “And Sobdar himself was arrested after the British seized the seat in Hyderabad.”
He said Hoshoo went to Mirpurkhas and came again with its Mir to fight against the British. However, he was killed in a battle against the colonialist troops at Dubbo.
Mr Shah said the Sheedi community had remained marginalised for centuries in Sindh as well, but now it was his party and leader Bilawal Bhutto who got a woman from the community to be part of the highest provincial forum.
The resolution was put before the house and was carried unanimously.
PTI govt slammed for hike in gas, power tariffs
Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal’s Abdul Rasheed moved another resolution in which he requested the Sindh government to contact the federal government and convey to it the plight of the people because of alarming hike in the tariffs of gas, electricity and petroleum.
He said instead of providing relief to the people, it was for the first time in the history of Pakistan where a federal government was seeking relief from its own people.
Mr Rasheed said the prices of gas, petroleum and electricity had increased manifold and those at the helm in Islamabad should withdraw the unjust increases.
Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh said the country’s economy had been hit hard in all respects during the past 200 days of PTI-led government’s rule.
He said those at the helm in Islamabad lacked competence in running the country. “They cannot run the country and are there to ruin us.”
He said because of the PTI-led government’s policies, around 400 projects were on the verge of closure and the situation had reached to a level that even the prime minister had asked the authorities to reduce tariffs of those items.
He said the PM had shown his lack of confidence on the Federal Board of Revenue when he said he would be going to form a new FBR. “The federal government has totally failed in providing relief to our people and instead it has increased difficulties for the people.”
He said currently the country was enduring a time with worst tax collections in its history and in turn, the PTI’s government had passed on that burden on to the provinces.
“We have not received around Rs125 billion of our share in the federal revenues, which has hit hard our plan of massive development in Sindh,” he added.
Mr Shaikh said the Sindh Board of Revenue was more efficient than the FBR and it should be entrusted with the task to collect taxes.
When put to vote, the house unanimously adopted the resolution.
Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2019