KARACHI -Amid sloganeering and protest from both sides of the aisle, the Sindh Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution jointly moved by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) to condemn ‘unconstitutional’ ruling given by National Assembly Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri to turn down no-trust motion against Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan.

The Assembly sitting began with almost two-hour delay and the proceedings took ugly turn right at the start as during prayer (Dua), Opposition Leader Haleem Adil Sheikh was interrupted by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani for making a ‘speech’. “During Dua, speeches are not allowed,” the Speaker said before turning off his microphone.

The situation became bad to worse when Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh congratulated the people of Pakistan as they got rid of ‘cursed’ federal government. He said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pulled the federal government out.

“It was an anti-Sindh federal government. The people of Sindh deserve congratulations,” he added.Referring to the prime minister’s statement that he would fight till the last ball, Shaikh said that Imran ‘ran away along with wickets’.

He also felicitated the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan for taking ‘right decision’ at ‘right time’ and ending its alliance with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal government.

During Shaikh’s point of order, the PTI lawmakers gathered in front of the Speaker’s rostrum and started protesting. Carrying placards in the hands, they were chanting anti-PPP slogans.

In the meantime, the PPP members also rose to their seats and began shouting anti-PTI slogans. The Assembly turned out to be a fish market due to sloganeering from both sides but it could not stop Nida Khuhro of PPP and Sanjay Parwani of MQM-P to table the resolution to condemn Qasim Soori’s ‘unconstitutional’ ruling.

“This House expresses serious reservations and concerns regarding unlawful ruling of Deputy Speaker in consequence of which the resolution for vote of no-confidence was unconstitutionally subverted and rejects the same,” the resolution read. It added that the Sindh Assemly raised question regarding the subsequent dissolution of National Assembly as a result of the constitutional ‘aberration’.

“This House expresses serious concerns and condemns the unlawful and illegal ruling given by the Deputy Speaker in National Assembly leading to the constitutional crisis in the country. This House resolves said ruling and considers it against the constitution,” it added.

The Speaker put the resolution to the house without speeches from both sides of the aisle and it was passed with majority of votes.

After passage of the resolution, Speaker Durrani read out the Governor’s message to prorogue the House but the PPP and PTI legislators kept taking a jibe at each other.

Mines and Mineral Development Minister Shabbir Ali Bijarani stated in the written replies to the written questions of the lawmakers said that the total revenue generated by the department from Jan 1, 2021 to date was Rs854.66 million.

To another question, the minister said that he took immediate notice of the issue on spreading of the news regarding illegal cutting of the stone from the Karoonjhar Hills and notified a fact finding committee headed by mines and mineral secretary.

He said that the committee was also represented by the forest, culture, tourism, environment and revenue departments. “The committee visited the area and also held public hearing on Oct 10, 2021at Nangaparbat,” he said and added that the committee ascertained that there was no illegal mining of granite stone in the area.

Bijarani said that the department issued directions to deputy commissioner and senior superintendent of police of Tharparkar for stoppage of illegal mining of granite from Karoonjhar Hills.

In reply to another question, he said that mining leases of granite in Kroonjhar mountain range were very old and they were granted in 1990s and 2000s.

He said that after the grant of mining leases the same remained in litigation and mining operations could not be carried out till to date. “However Frontier Works Organisation, whose mining leases fell outside the Kroonjhar mountain range, started work in 2018, but later stopped it in 2019.”

To another question, the minister said that the mines and minerals department had not constructed any road during the past five years in the areas where minerals were extracted.