• PTI lawmakers stage walkout against speaker
• Murad admits law and order situation not satisfactory
• Minister says Sindh has 4,450 Arabic language teachers

KARACHI: While over two-dozen MPAs of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf submitted their resignation to their parliamentary party leader Khurram Sher Zaman on the call of former prime minister Imran Khan, nearly half of them attended the Sindh Assembly session, took part in the business and then staged a walkout in protest over the attitude of the chair on Monday.

The situation took an unpleasant turn after Question Hour when Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani bluntly refused to proceed with the call attention notice given by PTI’s Dr Syed Imran Ali Shah, who wanted the revenue minister to inform the house about the progress of investigations into a multi-billion-rupee land acquisition scam.

The chair became visibly irked when the PTI lawmaker continued to ask him to take up his call attention notice.

“Under the Assembly Rules, time for call attention notices is 30 minutes,” he said, asking the PTI members to follow the rules.

The disgruntled lawmakers of the PTI walked out of the house in protest without chanting slogans and tearing off the copies of the agenda, a common practice during their protests.

Debate on flood situation next week

At the outset of the hearing, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah rose to request the chair to fix time next week for discussing flood situation, saying the session was summoned earlier because all the MPAs of the Pakistan Peoples Party were engaged in rescue and relief activities in their respective flooded constituencies.

He said that the assembly should discuss the flood situation in the province next week so that the government would give its point of view on the devastation of floods, and subsequent rescue and relief operations.

Speaker Durrani also seconded the chief minister and said that every member wanted to speak on the issue of flood in the province. He fixed next week for discussion on the floods situation in the province.

Later, responding to a call attention notice, given by Grand Democratic Alliance’s MPA Nand Kumar Golkani, the chief minister, who also holds the portfolio of the home department, conceded that the law and order was not “completely satisfactory” in the interior parts of the province, and told the assembly that much was needed to improve the security situation, though it had remarkably improved in the province.

He said that maintaining law and order situation was among the top priorities of the provincial government as Rs120 billion was being spent annually to protect lives and properties of the peoples.

Referring to the recent killing of five policemen by dacoits, CM Shah said that the provincial police was serving gallantly to eliminate dacoits, but admitted that the law and order situation in the province was not ideal.

He said that during the past one and half years, 23 dacoits were killed in Kashmore.

Mr Shah also reminded the lawmakers of law and order situation in the province in 2007 and said. “Now there is no no-go area in the province”.

Separately, Syed Abdul Rasheed of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal withdrew his privilege motion after the Health Minister assured him of action against the Principal of Lyari Nursing School of Male Shabana Baloch and other employees for misbehaving and hurling abuses on the mover when he attempted to visit the institution.

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla introduced three government bills—The Education City (Amendment) Bill, 2022; The Sindh Digital Technology Board Bill, 2022; and The Karachi Metropolitan University Bill, 2022.

All the bills were sent to the standing committees concerned for further deliberation.

TLP opposes recruitment of music teachers

Earlier, Mufti Qasim Fakhri of the Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), while presenting his call attention notice for the lack of Arabic teachers in government schools, said that music teachers were being recruited in Sindh, but there were no Arabic teachers in government schools.

He said that the recruitment of music teachers in Sindh be stopped.

Responding to the notice, Education Minister Syed Sardar Shah said that music was not just a name for dancing and singing. He said that earlier there were bandmasters in schools and there was never any objection, adding that the music highlighted the creativity of students.

He said that ‘Nazra Quran’ was taught from Grade 3 to 8 in the schools. He said that there were 4,450 Arabic language teachers and 480 posts were lying vacant in schools which would be filled as per policy.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Rana Ansar also moved a notice to draw attention to the questions of the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) and said that 30 questions in the test were out of syllabus.

Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal said that there were only eight questions out of the syllabus and as many grace marks had been given to the candidates.

Later, the meeting of Sindh Assembly was adjourned till Thursday afternoon.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2022

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