KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly again on Friday witnessed uproar and chaos when lawmakers belonging to the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf traded insults and hurled abuses on each other.
The situation took an ugly turn at the outset of the proceedings following the remarks of PTI’s Khurram Sher Zaman, who said “it seems that there is dogs’ rule in the province” while praying for dog-bite victims.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Information, Science and Technology Minister Taimur Talpur and other PPP lawmakers lost their cool and aggressively moved toward the PTI benches, shouting at MPA Sher Zaman and advising him to control his tongue and not to act like a “goon”.
However, other members from both sides of the aisle averted a scuffle between the charged lawmakers, though they had come face to face.
While Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani repeatedly asked the lawmakers to show some restraint, Arsalan Taj Ghumman and some other PTI members also responded to the PPP members.
Brawling lawmakers turn a deaf ear to repeated warnings by Speaker Durrani
PPP’s Fayyaz Butt and Burhan Chandio also moved towards PTI benches hurling unparliamentary words at the opposition members.
“Hero ban raha hai tu mar khayega (You are becoming a hero, you will be beaten up),” Talpur told Ghumman who replied, “Kon hai tu, jaa yahan se (Who are you, get lost)”.
“Bhar aa, idhar aaa, (Come outside, come here), Burhan Chandio said daring the PTI member to have a fight with him.
Speaker Durrani repeatedly tried to calm down the situation asking members to maintain decorum. “This is no way to behave in the assembly and especially at the time of Friday prayer,” he added.
The visibly irked speaker asked the members to go outside if they were interested in violence.
He also expunged all unparliamentary words and asked the lawmakers not to use bazaari language in the house.
As the situation eased after some time, Mr Sher Zaman resumed his prayer and said that Minister Chawla, who also holds the portfolio of excise, taxation and narcotics control, had issued licences to too many liquor shops.
The remarks once again triggered uproar in the assembly, as the minister said: “He (Sher Zaman) also serves substandard food at his restaurant.”
‘Out of context’ answers in Question Hour
The entire proceedings were marred by disorder as Minister Talpur, who was replying to lawmakers’ written and verbal queries during Question Hour, kept on criticising the PTI-led federal and provincial governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa instead of giving satisfactory replies to the questions, to the extent that the speaker had to ask him not to go “out of context”.
“If you go out of line, I will not allow,” he told the minister and also warned to expel the members who were not wearing face masks. “Please wear mask, otherwise go outside,” the visibly irked speaker ordered.
Responding to a calling-attention notice of PTI’s Sidra Imran, Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that development continued in Sindh despite a shortfall of more than Rs100 billion in federal transfers in the current fiscal year.
The PTI MPA had asked about development schemes in Karachi.
The minister said that Sindh was the only province where development projects continued and Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was focusing on the development of the province despite a big cut in development budget during the current financial year.
He told the lawmakers that 19 megaprojects of Karachi were near completion, while work on 23 projects will begin soon, adding that besides, work was in progress on seven projects of the Lyari Development Authority, 44 projects of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, 50 projects of KDA and 15 projects of Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.
The LG minister said that total 62 new schemes of the KMC had also been approved which included roads and overhead bridges.
He said that tenders worth Rs1bn had been awarded for SITE and work had been started for improvement of infrastructure.
“Work is underway on the World Bank-funded projects, but it has been delayed due to Covid-19,” he added.
Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2021