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Fireworks over LG law likely in PA session today

November 15, 2012

KARACHI, Nov 14: The Sindh Assembly session beginning on Thursday in the assembly building is likely to witness rumpus once again by the estranged fellows of the coalition government when the speaker announces that the governor has approved the Sindh People’s Local Government Bill, 2012.

The bill became the immediate cause of the parting of ways between the government and the Pakistan Mulsim League-Functional, PML-Likeminded, PML-Q, National People’s Party and the Awami National Party. In the house of 168, these parties have 18 members.

They would also protest if their seats were not relocated to the opposition benches and were barred from playing their role of the opposition, Jam Madad Ali, the PML-F parliamentary party leader, told Dawn.

He said all parliamentary groups would meet in his assembly chamber to formulate a joint strategy before attending the session.

In reply to a question, he said they expected their resignations would be notified by the government on Thursday as a decision in that regard was likely to be taken at a PPP parliamentary party meeting held in Nawabshah. However, if their resignations from the cabinet posts were not accepted, they would not be part of the treasury and would either record their protest by staging a sit-in in front of the rostrum or would stage a walkout.

Arif Mustafa Jatoi of the NPP parliamentary party said if their resignations were not notified, they expected the speaker would allot seats on the opposition benches at least to those lawmakers who were not ministers.

Although their portfolios as ministers in the Qaim Ali Shah cabinet had already been given to other ministers after the ministers belonging to the PML-F, PML-L, NPP and ANP had stopped attending their offices.

The governor, who is the competent authority to accept or reject the resignations, has delayed a decision amid reports that the government is trying to mend fences with their angry colleagues.

Failing to get seats on the opposition benches in the house, the estranged fellows had left their treasury seats and staged a sit-in before the speaker’s desk to protest against not allowing them to play their role of opposition. Speaker Nisar Ahmad Khuhro had said that unless their resignations were notified, he could not relocate them.

As the opposition members were not in their seats, the speaker overlooked their uproar against the LG bill, which was passed within seven minutes and declared as ‘adopted unanimously’.

Besides the SPLG Bill 2012, the bills for which assent had been give by the governor included The Habib University Bill, 2012, and The Sindh Teachers Education Development Authority Bill 2012.

Another issue likely to attract fireworks from the lawmakers is the unabated targeted killings in Karachi. The issue, though not included in the order of the day, is expected to be raised either by a point of order or through an adjournment motion or an out-of-turn resolution.