KARACHI: Amid a strong protest and boycott of the proceedings by the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the Sindh Assembly on Monday passed the Sindh Public Service Commission Bill, 2022.

Lawmakers of the PTI gathered in front of the rostrum, chanting anti-government slogans and tearing up copies of the bill as Deputy Speaker Rehana Leghari allowed Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon to introduce the bill.

Other opposition parties’ members, including those of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), however, did not support the PTI in its protest.

They remained in the house as the protesting members staged a walkout after a brief but strong protest against the amended law of the SPSC.

Unanimous resolution condemns BJP leaders’ derogatory remarks against Holy Prophet (PBUH); asks Centre to cut ties with India

Introducing the bill, the information minister said that some changes had been made in the bill on the orders of the Supreme Court.

He said that the SPSC chairman would now be appointed by the governor on the advice of the chief minister, adding that the commission would have 10 members, including a female member and a minority member.

Mr Memon said the bill was very important and it would open the door of employment for those who wanted to take the public service commission exam.

GDA’s Nusrat Sehar Abbasi said she wanted some amendments in the bill and asked the chair as to how the lawmakers could propose amendments when the bill was introduced only today.

“We did not get the copy of this bill which we should have got under the law. Now how can we make our amendments to this bill?” she remarked.

Coming down heavily on the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), she said the MQM-P had already joined the government and now they were colluding with them. “It is better to send this bill to the committee,” she suggested.

However, the information minister said he opposed the GDA member’s suggestions and amendments.

Later, the deputy speaker rejected the amendment proposed by Ms Abbasi.

Muhammad Hussain of the MQM-P said that there was a mention in the old law of the SPSC as to where the offices of the commission would be located. “Why is this missing in this bill?” he asked.

Minister Memon requested Mr Hussain to withdraw his objection. “We will resolve this issue later,” he assured the MQM member. Mr Hussain said he was withdrawing the objection on the assurance of the chair.

Later, the House approved the Sindh Public Service Commission Bill, 2022.

Separately, The Sindh Institute of Advanced Endoscopy and Gastroenterology Bill, 2021 was also passed for establishing a ‘state-of-the-art and well equipped’ institute with modern technology under one umbrella.

Protest against India

The Sindh Assembly passed unanimous resolutions of treasury and opposition members against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders for their blasphemous remarks against the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and demanded that the federal government cut diplomatic ties with India and expel its diplomats.

The chair suspended all business on agenda and both sides of the aisle condemned the BJP leaders’ remarks while moving identical resolutions.

Muhammad Hussain Khan of the MQM-P, Khurram Sher Zaman of the PTI, Syed Abdul Rasheed of te MMA, Ms Abbasi of the GDA and Sadia Javed of the PPP tabled the resolutions.

Later, the deputy speaker clubbed all the resolutions, which also demanded that the federal government raise voice at the United Nations as well as the OIC and boycott Indian products.

The resolution said: “The House condemns the recent derogatory remarks against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and Islam by two senior officials of the ruling BJP. The blasphemous statements were a deliberate attempt to provoke a communal agitation and offend the Muslims of India and beyond. To millions of Muslims around the world, the sanctity of the beloved Prophet (PBUH) precedes all and any attempt to wilfully breach this sanctity will invite sharp response from Muslims across the world.”

It added that the statements clearly indicated the anti-Muslim and anti-Islam policy of the BJP-RSS. The rampant violence on Muslims of India by Indian extremists, the constitutional amendments to marginalise Muslims and repeated verbal attacks aimed at the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Islam substantiated the very fact that Islamophobia was alarmingly on the rise in India.

The lawmakers demanded the provincial government to approach the federal government for lodging a strong protest with the High Commission of India in Islamabad to press the Indian authorities for taking strict legal action against those members.

The house was adjourned to Tuesday (today) at 3pm when the provincial budget would be presented.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2022

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