Tear gas, baton charge, arrests as Sindh assembly members take oath

Elections of Speaker, Deputy Speaker to be held today n Sindh CM will be elected tomorrow n Murad calls for joint efforts to get country out of difficult situation n MPAs-elect from protesting parties did not show up to take oath n GDA, JUI-F, PTI, JI workers taken into custody amid clashes with police.


KARACHI  -  The newly elected members of the Sindh assembly took oath dur­ing session of house in Karachi on Saturday. The session was chaired by speaker Sindh As­sembly Agha Siraj Ahmed Durani who ad­ministered oath from members elect.

At the start of ses­sion, a documentary was also played in the house to pay tribute to former Prime Minister Muhatarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed. On this occasion, Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani an­nounced that elections of Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Sindh As­sembly will be held on Sunday (today). Sindh Assembly Session was adjourned till 11:00am today. The election of the Sindh Chief Minister will be held on Monday.

According to the schedule issued by the provincial Assembly Secretariat, nomination papers will be issued and received on Sunday, and the final list of the candidates will be af­fixed to the notice board after scrutiny of the pa­pers on the same day until the evening.

The majority party in the Sindh Assembly, the Pakistan People’s Party, has already nominated Sayed Murad Ali Shah as its candidate for the Chief Minister’s post.

The nomination pa­pers for the posts of Speaker and Deputy Speaker were received on Saturday daytime.

After the scrutiny, the final list of valid nomi­nees will be affixed to the notice board of the assembly. The voting for the slots will begin at 11 am on Sunday.

According to the schedule issued here by the pro­vincial Assembly Secretariat, nomination papers will be is­sued and received on Sunday, and the final list of the interest­ed candidates will be affixed to the notice board after scrutiny of the papers on the same day until the evening. The poling for the election of the CM will be held at about 11 a.m. on Mon­day (February 26). The majori­ty party in the Sindh Assembly, the Pakistan People’s Party, has already nominated Sayed Murad Ali Shah as its candidate for the Chief Minister’s post.


Pakistan Peoples Party’s nomi­nated candidate for the Chief Min­ister Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah on Saturday said that currently Pakistan was passing through a difficult situation for which Fed­eral and Provincial Governments have to take joint steps to get the country out of this situation.

Speaking to the media at the Sindh Assembly after taking oath as a member of the provincial As­sembly, Syed Murad Shah said the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker will be held on Sunday while the CM election is scheduled on Monday. He wished that with the grace of Almighty Allah, the election process would be completed peacefully. There are many issues in the country at present, which is a big chal­lenge for the federal and provin­cial governments, Shah said and hoped that governments at both levels, have to work together to get Pakistan out of this situation.


Saturday’s assembly proceed­ings took place amid protests at various points across Karachi by the GDA, the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and others against alleged rigging in the general elections. The caretak­er provincial government had announced imposing Section 144 on holding rallies or public gatherings in the so-called “Red Zone” area, where the Sindh As­sembly is located.

The PTI, the GDA, the JUI-F, the JI and Mohajir Qaumi Move­ment-Haqqiqi had announced holding a peaceful protest in front of the provincial assembly build­ing. With parties other than the PPP and the MQM-P having de­cided to boycott the proceedings, MPAs-elects of the GDA, the JI, and independents backed by the PTI — who recently joined the Sunni Ittehad Council as per PTI directives — did not show up to take oath. The assembly session, scheduled for 11am, began with a delay of around 40 minutes.

When outgoing Sindh Assem­bly speaker Agha Siraj Durrani was about to administer oath to the lawmakers, he was stopped by MPA-elect Murad Ali Shah, who told him that he should first be sworn in as a lawmaker before he could administer oath to others. Earlier, the JUI-F said its support­ers from other cities who were ar­riving in Karachi to participate in its planned protests were being stopped by the police at Karachi’s Toll Plaza. In a statement, JUI-F spokesperson Sami Swati said, “Talks with the police administra­tion are under way about stopping the caravans.” “Groups of people from across Sindh are reaching Karachi to participate in the pro­tests. The main group will reach the Sindh Assembly from Awami Markaz as a rally, he added.

JUI-F Sindh Secretary Gen­eral Allama Rashid Mahmood Soomro then led a protest at the Toll Plaza, saying that the party workers wanted to stage a pro­test outside the provincial as­sembly. Soomro asserted that protesting was their constitu­tional right, which he said was being taken away from the party. He demanded that the Sindh po­lice chief tell them under which law they were not being allowed to enter the city. The protest dis­rupted traffic flow at the Kara­chi-Hyderabad Motorway.

Later, GDA Information Sec­retary Sardar Abdul Rahim said that according to reports he re­ceived, workers of his party, the JUI-F, the PTI and the JI were tak­en into custody at Sharea Faisal, Super Highway, Fountain Chowk, Saddar area, Lalu Khet and oth­er areas. He criticised the care­taker provincial government for the police actions. Qaumi Awami Tehreek chief Ayaz Latif Palejo claimed that the police arrested 65 workers, including women, of his party and the Sindhiani Teh­reek at the Karachi Press Club af­ter baton-charging them.

Containers were placed at var­ious points across Karachi after the police broke up the GDA and JUI-F protests. They were placed on roads leading to the Sindh Assembly, including at Fountain Chowk, Karachi Press Club, the Arts Council roundabout and Shaheen Complex. Roads near Sharea Faisal, Nursery and Kar­saz Road were also blocked by placing containers there. The Karachi Toll Plaza was closed due to protests by JUI-F work­ers, causing a traffic jam on roads near Memon Goth.

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