Call for army operation against riverine gangs echoes in Sindh Assemby

Published July 15, 2023
MQM-P lawmaker Rana Ansar, along with party leaders Dr Farooq Sattar and Nasreen Jalil, submits an application to Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, signed by other MPAs, for her appointment as leader of the opposition on Friday.—Shakil Adil / White Star
MQM-P lawmaker Rana Ansar, along with party leaders Dr Farooq Sattar and Nasreen Jalil, submits an application to Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, signed by other MPAs, for her appointment as leader of the opposition on Friday.—Shakil Adil / White Star

• Chawla says abducted SHO, three minority members returned home
• KE under fire for carrying out extended loadshedding

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Friday echoed with the demand of launching an army operation against dacoit gangs in the riverine areas as lawmakers expressed concern over growing incidents of lawlessness and kidnapping for ransom.

In his call attention notice, Grand Democratic Alliance’s (GDA) lawmaker Nand Kumar Goklani asked the home minister to inform the house as to how many people had been kidnapped and how many were currently being held hostage by the bandits in the riverine areas.

Speaking on the issue, he said the law and order situation in the province, especially in the riverine areas, had worsened, leaving people terrorised.

“The writ of the provincial government has been challenged by the bandits,” he said, adding that over 50 people had been abducted by the dacoits in the recent past.

The GDA MPA said people in the affected areas had started shifting to safer places as it had become too risky to go out on the streets after dusk.

He demanded that an operation by the army be launched against the dacoits operating in the riverine areas.

Replying to the call attention notice on behalf of the chief minister, who also holds the portfolio of the home department, Parliamentary Affair Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla said there had been improvement in the security situation in the province, adding that 28 out of the 35 abducted people had been recovered in the last three months.

He said that efficient police officials had been deputed in the affected districts of the province and three dacoits had been killed in an encounter in Kashmore two days ago.

The minister said that three kidnapped members of a minority community had been recovered within a week while the abducted SHO had also returned with the efforts of police.

‘KE licence should not be renewed’

Tahreek Labbaik Pakistan lawmaker Mufti Muhammad Qasim Fakhri, in his call attention notice, drew the attention of the provincial energy minister towards the failure of K-Electric (KE) in supplying uninterrupted electricity to the city.

He said the lone power utility of the city had failed completely and asked the energy minister if the K-Electric’s licence was being extended again.

He said the power utility had piled miseries on poor people living in small houses in congested localities without the facilities of power generators and solar system.

The TLP member said the KE had resorted to 19-hour loadshedding in Baldia Town and the power utility’s contract must not be extended.

In reply to the call attention notice, Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh said the provincial government would fully support and facilitate the new companies wanted to bid for getting electricity distribution license in Karachi to create competition, which would eventually benefit the city’s people.

However, he said, the electricity and gas were purely the federal government’s subjects constitutionally and the provincial government had nothing to do with them.

He assured all the support from the provincial government for the new companies that wanted to bid for the license.

He added that since the KE was a private concern, the provincial government could not pass directives to it.

Water shortage in city

Waseemuddin Qureshi of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) in his call attention notice said that despite numerous promises and assurance by the local government minister, there was an acute shortage of water in North Karachi and New Karachi.

He said he was drawing the attention of the local government minister towards water shortage in the two vicinities for the third time, but in vain.

The MQM-P MPA suggested that the chief executive officer of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board should be summoned in the house for an explanation.

In reply to the call attention notice, Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government Saleem Baloch said that there was a natural shortage of water in the entire city which got only 600 MGD instead of the required 1,200 MGD.

He said that water shortage would continue to persist until the completion of K-IV water project.

Question Hour

Not a single starred question out of seven was taken up during the proceedings as none of the member who had asked the queries were present in the house.

Special Assistant Surender Valasai, however, requested Agha Siraj Durrani to take his written replies to the starred questions on the assembly record.

The questions were asked by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Sidra Imran and Dr Seema Zia, and GDA’s Nusrat Sehar Abbasi.

Meanwhile, The Sindh Explosives Bill, 2019 was also passed unanimously for regulating the matters relating to the manufacture, possession, use, sale, transportation and import of the explosives in the province.

The sitting was adjourned to Monday.

Published in Dawn, July 15th, 2023

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