KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly session on Thursday was marred by uproar and chaos as members of both the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf exchanged heated arguments and chanted slogans against each other during the maiden speech of interned Leader of Opposition Haleem Adil Sheikh who attended the sitting on production orders.
The house echoed with slogans ‘Go Niazi Go’ and ‘Go Murad Go’ by the treasury and opposition benches, respectively, soon after Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani gave the floor to the leader of opposition.
Mr Sheikh, who was given standing ovation by his party members on his arrival, said that he had been tortured during detention.
He said that a snake was deliberately let into his cell under a conspiracy to kill him. “I am a member of Sindh Assembly and request you to conduct an inquiry as the snake was found from my cell,” he asked the speaker.
While the interruption continued from the treasury benches during his speech, a charged Sheikh told the PPP members that there was only a three-foot distance between benches of the leader of house and leader of the opposition. “If we are not allowed to speak, nobody including the chief minister, can speak in the assembly,” he declared.
Resolution introduced by Sharjeel for stopping anti-encroachment operation on irrigation land passed
The PTI leader said that being the leader of the opposition in the house, he was entitled to privileges equivalent to provincial minister, but his security was withdrawn.
He said that he was brought to the assembly like a terrorist in an armoured personnel carrier. “I was attacked and subjected to torture in jail where I was detained in a cell designated for hard-core criminals,” he complained.
Speaker Durrani asked Mr Sheikh to file an application in the court if he was being tortured. “I had filed an application in court when I was mistreated in jail. I and Asif Ali Zardari had contested and won elections while being behind bars,” he added.
The speaker said that major opposition parties had submitted an application with the assembly and sought production order of their leader. “The order was not issued on any pressure but as per vision of the PPP leadership,” he added.
Anti-encroachment operation on irrigation land
Meanwhile, the house unanimously adopted a resolution asking the provincial government to suspend anti-encroachment drive on irrigation land till settlement between occupiers and administration.
PPP’s Sharjeel Inam Memon moved the resolution, saying that they were not against the anti-encroachment operation, but a mechanism should be devised to resettle hundreds of thousands of people who were being rendered shelterless.
Newly elected MPAs take oath
Earlier, newly elected MPAs of PPP Jam Shabbir Ali and Yousuf Murtaza Baloch took oath of affirmation.
The two were elected in by-polls on PS-43 and PS-88 respectively.
Greeting the newly elected lawmakers, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that both candidates of the PPP had won the polls with big margin.
He expressed the hope that Mr Ali and Mr Baloch who replaced their brother and father, respectively, would remain loyal to the party and leadership. “I also congratulate PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari as in their leadership we have not only retained our seats, but got more votes than the general elections 2018,” he added.
Two bills introduced
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla introduced two bills — The Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and The Sindh Public Private Partnership (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Both the bills were sent to standing committees for further deliberation.
The house was adjourned till Friday (today).
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2021