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Sindh Assembly session: PPP, opposition hurl barbs over SPLGO

November 15, 2012

PML-F members of the Sindh Assembly stage a walkout during the session in Karachi on Thursday. – Photo by PPI

KARACHI: The proceedings of the Sindh Assembly came to a standstill on Thursday when the opposition members exclaimed against the speaker’s announcement for the governor's assent to the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance Bill, 2012 and an exchange of torrent of barbs ensued between the lawmakers of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the opposition.

The assembly, that began its business two-hour late of its scheduled time at 12.10pm, continued its business smoothly before Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro announced the governor's assent to three bills including the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance Bill, 2012.

The announcement agitated the opposition members and they converged before the speaker's rostrum with banners in hand against the new law saying, “Division of Sindh, unacceptable.”

The other two bills assented by the governor are - The Habib University Bill, 2012 and The Sindh Teachers Education Development Authority Bill, 2012.

Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) MPA Nusrat Bano Sehar Abbassi kept shouting “Shame, shame’” and tore apart copy of the bill that also galvanized lawmakers of the ruling party into action, who, in return also hurled criticism that those protesting against the bill were once the supporters of military dictators and Kalabagh Dam.

The ruckus was intensified when Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah reiterated “shut-up” call to the PML-F lawmaker couple of times and she responded with rage that “had you been an honourable man you would not have used such language against a woman.”

PPP members Agha Siraj Durrani and Rafiq Engineer also lashed out at the attitude of opposition legislators. Rafiq even went out to say that these people were those who got Benazir Bhutto assassinated by supporting General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf.

Later, Senior Minister for Education Pir Mazharul Haq moved a motion condemning the opposition members for using foul language against honorable MPAs, wasting precious time of the assembly, and tearing apart documents and files.

Earlier, the lawmakers of Awami National Party (ANP), PML-F, National Peoples Party (NPP), and Pakistan Muslim League (likeminded) protested against non-allocation of opposition benches despite their resignations.

The speaker had allocated eight members of the total 12 opposition seats that included Arif Mustafa Jatoi, Nusrat Bano Sehar Abbasi, Marvi Rashdi, Rana Abdul Sattar, Qazi Shamsuddin Rajar, Ali Ghulam Nizamani, Rahim Bakhsh and Amanullah Mehsud.

However, the speaker said that resignations of the four ministers - Ameer Nawab Khan, Masroor Ahmed Jatoi, Rafique Bhanban and Jam Madad Ali had not been accepted yet so the opposition seats could not allotted.

Jam Madad said, since they were not allotted opposition seats despite their resignation, it was better to boycott the session instead of sitting on treasury benches. The four ministers then staged a token walkout.

Earlier, the speaker administered oath to a new MPA Riffat Khan Advocate, belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). She was sworn in in place of Nadia Gabool, who was disqualified in the dual nationality case.

The house was adjourned to November 30, Friday.