KARACHI - The Sindh Assembly on Friday passed two Local Government ordinances into law amid opposition parties’ protest, chanting of slogans and their walkout from the House after tearing the copies of the agenda.
The Opposition parties, which requisitioned the session to discuss the Local Government ordinances, staged protest and walked out of the House, paving way for the treasury benches of PPP to pass the ordinances into law smoothly.
After walking out of the House, the combined opposition of MQM, PML-F, PML-N and PTI staged their protest on the stairs of the assembly’s main building. They adopted a resolution terming the Sindh Local Government Ordinances (Amendments) 2013 illegal and unconstitutional and rejected them.
The House, which met at 3:25pm on Friday with Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in the chair, took up question-hour pertaining to the Industries Department. Opposition leader Faisal Sabzwari raised the issue of increasing ‘Talibanisation’ in the City as well as lack of formation of Public Accounts Committee and Standing Committees of the House.
After question-hour, the Chair asked the MPA Nand Kumar of the PML-F from the opposition benches to readout his privilege motion and give arguments on the admissibility. But in the meantime, Irfanullah Marwat of PML-N stood up and urged the Chair to allow him to take up his out-of-turn resolution.
PML-N MPA, without waiting reply from the Chair, started reading out motion to get permission of the House to allow him to move the resolution which irked the Chair. Even, he went on to readout the resolution, in which he stated this House rejected the local government ordinance recently promulgated by the Sindh government.
The Speaker denied permission to the PML-N’s MPA and gave floor to the Nand Kumar of PML-F to move his privilege motion, who didn’t seem interested in taking up his privilege motion. In the meantime, opposition leader from MQM Faisal Sabzwari, PML-F’s Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh, PML-N’s Irfanullah Marwat and other MPAs from the opposition benches stood on their feet and started arguing with the Chair to allow Marwat to move the resolution which was signed by the parliamentary leaders of the opposition parties.
In reaction to the opposition benches, Information Minister Sharjeel Memon and other members from the treasury benches rose on other seats and loudly urged the Chair to run the proceedings of the House according to the rules of the procedure and take up the agenda listed in the order of the day.
Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani while urging the opposition parties to let him finish the business because the session is called on their requisition to discuss the Local Government ordinance which is listed in order of the day. “I am sitting here till late night, whatever time you want to take for discussion on the local government ordinance, I will give you opportunity,” he urged the opposition parties in soft tone. But all his requests and appeals went into vein as MPAs from the opposition benches continued standing on their feet and chanted slogans.
The opposition MPAs also tore the copies of the ordinance and other agenda of the House. They also gathered at the rostrum of the Speaker in protest.
Later, they walked out the House and boycotted the proceedings in protest. They staged sit-in and set up their own ‘assembly’ where they passed resolution to reject the local government ordinance.
The PTI, which was not part of joint opposition, also joined hands with its political rival MQM and PML-N against the LG ordinance.
The PTI is a strong political opponent and competitor of the MQM in Karachi and PML-N in Punjab but these three opponents of each others have joined hands against the PPP government in Sindh on the issue of LG ordinance.
After reading out the announcements of the assent of five bills given by Sindh governor, the Chair gave floor to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro, who moved the motion to lay the two ordinances - The Local Government (second and third amendment) Ordinances.
He moved the two bills which were passed by the House in absence of all the opposition lawmakers.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro while speaking about the aims and objectives of the bills said both the ordinances were promulgated on the directives, guidance and consultation with the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Mandhro said the opposition parties had not any substantial, genuine, reasonable, and legal argument and ground to oppose the LG ordinance so they did not participate in the discussion in their own requisitioned session.
The minister further said the ordinances were not alteration or distraction into the LG bill.
Senior Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro termed the opposition parties’ act of tearing the copies and boycotting the proceedings as unfortunate. The opposition parties were not serious in discussion so they opted to ‘run away’ from the House.
Memon said the protest by the opposition parties aimed at diverting the attention of the public from the ongoing targeted-operation against the target killers and criminals in the City.
Later, the Speaker prorogued the session till indefinite period.