KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly proceedings on Tuesday were marred by ruckus as members of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party lambasted the federal government for water shortages in the province demanding immediate removal of the chairman of the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) for his “uncalled-for” behaviour with the authority’s member belonging to Sindh.
Speaking on a point of order, Irrigation Minister Sohail Anwar Sial informed the house that the Irsa chairman misbehaved with the representative of Sindh in the meeting when the former pointed out that water could be released to the Chashma-Jhelum (CJ) Link Canal and Taunsa-Panjnad (TP) Link Canal only in case of flooding under the Water Accord.
“He threw a book on the face of Sindh’s Irsa member in the meeting,” the minister said, adding that no one had the right of insulting the province’s representative who had raised voice against unjust water distribution among the provinces.
Speaker Durrani adjourns the sitting without completing agenda because of pandemonium in the house
He said that the Standing Committee of the National Assembly on Wednesday had asked Irsa not to release water to the CJ and TP Link Canals, but the authority forcibly opened the TP Link Canal late in the night.
Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said that the behaviour of the Irsa chairman, who represented Punjab, towards the member of Sindh was not acceptable. “He [Irsa chairman] must be removed from the post,” he demanded.
Sharjeel Inam Memon of the PPP demanded that Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani summon the Irsa chairman for explanation.
The speaker also expressed grave concern over the behaviour of Irsa chairman and advised the PPP member to move a resolution against him. “He threw a book on the face of Sindh’s Irsa member. It is too much. He must be removed from the post immediately,” he said.
Minister Shabbir Bijarani said that the representative of Punjab was the chairman of Irsa and he ordered the release of water to TP Link Canal. He also demanded removal of the Irsa chairman and an inquiry against him.
Minister, PTI lawmaker almost come to blows
It was yet another private members’ day in the assembly that was marred by ruckus and chaos as members belonging to the ruling PPP and opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf once again came face to face, forcing Speaker Durrani to adjourn the session with majority of business still to be taken up.
As happened in the previous sitting, the treasury members vehemently condemned Irsa for cutting down the province’s share of water and misbehaving with its representative, while the PTI members did not agree with the provincial government’s stance on water shortage.
The situation took an unpleasant turn when PTI parliamentary party leader Bilal Ghaffar hurled highly insulting remarks at Minister Sial.
Pointing to Mr Sial, the PTI parliamentary leader had said that he was “made minister as he used to carry purse of a PPP leader.”
Just like on Monday, a furious Sial left his seat and rushed towards Mr Ghaffar, but was intercepted in due time by Minister Chawla and other PPP members.
The lawmakers from the two sides, including women, also hurled unparliamentary words at each other, forcing the speaker to adjourn the sitting till Friday amid hooliganism with majority of business including privilege, adjournment motions, private bills, private resolutions, private motions and amendments in rules still to be tabled.
Earlier, while replying to the lawmakers’ written and verbal queries during Question Hour, Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ghanwar Ali Khan Isran informed the house that the students in S.M. Law College were admitted purely on merit and on domicile basis.
Grand Democratic Alliance’s Arif Mustafa Jatoi had asked if it was a fact that students domiciled outside Karachi were admitted in limited number in the law college.
In reply to most of the verbal questions by opposition members, the parliamentary secretary either offered them to provide relevant information later after seeking it from the law department, or said that the supplementary question did not pertain to the written question, advising members to move fresh questions.
Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2021