KARACHI: Lawmakers belonging to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on Monday hailed the Supreme Court’s verdict of holding upcoming Senate election through secret ballot, with both terming it as their triumph in the Sindh Assembly.
Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani also paid glowing tribute to the apex court saying, “We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision and [are] proud of our apex court”.
He said that the SC kept intact “Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s 1973 Constitution”.
‘Only 850 veterinary doctors in Sindh’
Welcoming the verdict, PTI’s Khurram Sher Zaman took a jibe at PPP members saying they didn’t even understand what had happened against them. “The PPP’s dream didn’t come true,” he added.
‘MPAs are not for sale’
Later, speaking on a point of order, Leader of the Opposition Haleem Adil Sheikh said that that all 11 senators from Punjab were elected unopposed as no party had filed nomination papers exceeding their numerical strength.
“It is being considered that original market for Senate elections would be held in Sindh. What sort of impact the voters would get when they hear the word ‘market’ for the provincial assembly,” he asked.
He said that the MPAs of Sindh were not ‘Bikao maal’ (for sale).
He also expressed displeasure over a brawl between the lawmakers belonging to PPP and PTI in the assembly the other day.
“The government could respond to our criticism with microphone but not with punches. Khurram Sher Zaman had just pointed out a surge in dog-bite cases in the province but in response the PPP members started misbehaving,” he added.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla retorted that opposition parties would be paid back in the same coin.
“They [opposition members] would be disrespected in response to disrespect and would be abused in response to abusive language,” he said, adding that no criticism would be tolerated against party leadership.
Sharjeel Inam Memon of the PPP said that the arrest of the opposition leader was in accordance with law “as he was involved in harassing the voters and displaying of heavy weapons”.
He alleged that a G-3 rifle could also be seen in the opposition leader’s convoy in footage of the polling day, adding that he would resign as MPA if he failed to prove his accusations.
He said that he had photographs and footage and he could show it.
Earlier, while replying to lawmakers’ written and verbal queries during Question Hour, Livestock and Fisheries Minister Abdul Bari Pitafi said that the export of seafood was a federal subject.
However, he added, his department had taken steps to improve the hygienic conditions of fish cages and maintain cold chain from landing to fish processing units.
In reply to a question asked by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan member Rana Ansar, the minister said that the Sindh Poultry Vaccine Centre, Karachi was established by the Sindh Assembly through the Sindh (Poultry Vaccine Centre) Act V of 1995 under the administrative control of the livestock and fisheries department for research and prevention of diseases in the province by generation of vaccines and production of new vaccines for livestock and poultry.
He informed the house that the vaccine centre had turned into the country’s largest vaccine production unit by producing more than 200 million doses annually and different types and combinations of vaccines for poultry and livestock.
To another question, Mr Pitafi said that there was no procedure of house job of veterinary doctors.
He admitted that there was an acute shortage of veterinary doctors in the province as there was only one doctor to treat 60,000 livestock animals.
The livestock minister said that there were only 850 veterinary doctors in Sindh while 527 more were being inducted. However, he said that the numbers were still too low as there was a huge disparity between the required and actual number of veterinary doctors.
Mr Pitafi added that the Livestock Expo was going to be held in Hyderabad from March 13 in which every breed of Pakistan would be displayed.
PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari would inaugurate the expo, he added.
In reply to a question, he denied the existence of any illegal fish farms in the province.
Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2021