KARACHI - The Jinnah Sindh Medical University Bill 2013 was passed into law by Sindh Assembly on Thursday amid uproar and walkout of MQM MPAs against giving control of admission policy to the government.
After adopting the resolutions by the House unanimously, Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro moved a motion for withdrawal of the earlier submitted bill number 21 of Jinnah Sindh Medical University bill 2012.
He tabled another bill number 16 of the same university for immediate introduction and consideration by the Assembly, which caused differences and divide among the ruling PPP and MQM.
Despite the strong opposition and resistance by the MPAs of MQM, the law minister urged the chair to put the motion to get approval of the house for immediate consideration of bill, which house approved with the majority vote. MQM lawmakers led by their parliamentary leader Sardar Ahmed rose on their seats in protest and continued urging the chair and treasury benches to not table the Jinnah Sindh University Bill for consideration as they have not read it.
Sardar Ahmed said that they were not against the establishment of university but it had been tabled now through supplementary business. He urged the treasury to defer the consideration of the bill for Monday until they can read it thoroughly. He further said that by considering the bill immediately the government is setting a bad and negative precedent to get the bill passed through crude majority, adding this move would spoil the political peace in Sindh and deal a serious blow to the politics of reconciliation
On the request of MQM’s parliamentary leader, the Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro sought from the Law Minister whether he wanted to defer or insisted for consideration of bill.
Law Minister Ayaz Soomro reminded the House that after a meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, an ordinance for establishment of Jinnah Sindh Medical University was issued on the request of our brother belongs to the MQM. This bill is also in continuation of that ordinance as government wanted to pass bill into law of this university immediately, he said and urged the chair to get approval of the house for consideration.
MQM’s deputy parliamentary leader Faisal Sabzwari said that there were typographical errors visible in the new bill, so it must be deferred till Monday.
“The bone of contention is attitude of the PPP, which it showing today in the house”, MQM MPA said, adding that he had talked with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah requesting him to defer the consideration of the Jinnah Sindh Medical University Bill, who also assured him about this. Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq clarified that the Jinnah Sindh Medical University Bill is almost same which earlier drafted in consultation with MQM.
Instead of powers to the Syndicate of University, Pir Mazhar told the house that Sindh Government/Sindh Chief Minister has been empowered to make admission policy of Jinnah Sindh Medical University in Karachi in the new law.
Education minister said that government is ready to hear the reservations and views of the MQM as it is now on opposition benches, so decision to be made on majority vote in the Sindh Assembly.
MQM MPA Dr Sagheer Ahmed said that first the resignations of the MQM’s ministers be accepted immediately as they were not taken on board on the supplementary business. He also advised the government to defer the bill till Monday, so they two sides can consult on the new law.
After arguments from both sides, the Speaker tabled the motion for voting with voice vote. But MQM lawmakers loudly voiced no against the consideration of the bill immediately, so the chair asked the lawmakers to stand on their seats.
Majority lawmakers from PPP alongside opposition lawmakers of the PML-F, PML-Q and PML-Likeminded also stood in favour of motion.
MQM lawmakers while chanting slogans of ‘incomplete bill not acceptable, illegal bill not acceptable continued protesting and took part in legislation by voting against the bills.
When the clause by clause adaptation of the bill was in the process, the MQM lawmakers while chanting slogans walked out of the house in protest. The MPAs from other opposition parties of PML-F, PML-Q and PML-Likeminded remained seated and voted in favour of the bill.
However, the Arif Mustafa Jatoi of NPP from opposition benches also left the house when important bill of Jinnah Sindh Medical University was in process. After MQM walked out of the house in protest, the PPP members while thumping the desks passed the bill into law. While, Speaker announced that Jinnah Sindh Medical University bill was passed into law unanimously.
According to the bill, the Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) and National Institute of Child Health Care (NICH) would not be under control of the Jinnah Sindh Medical University.
Earlier, another bill, The Shaheed Benazir Bhutto City University bill 2013 was introduced by the House. After completing the agenda, Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro adjourned the session.
Meanwhile, the MQM MPAs Syed Sardar Ahmed, Faisal Sabzwari and others members while talking to the media termed the Jinnah Sindh Medical University Bill illegal.
They said that they were against the law of giving control authority of the university admissions to the government, adding that the new law is aimed to occupy the educational institutions in the city. Later, Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon while talking to the media said that bill was passed unanimously as only MPAs of MQM and NPP walked out the house and opposed the bill. He said that the establishment of this university and management would be under Sindh chief minister.