KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly unanimously passed on Monday two separate bills to rename the Altaf Hussain universities in Karachi and Hyderabad after Abdul Sattar Edhi and Fatima Jinnah respectivey. The law was passed after a Sindh Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah approved it.
The session began with speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in chair and parliamentary affairs minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro presented the bills to rename Altaf Hussain University Karachi as Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi University and Altaf Hussain University, Hyderabad as Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah University.
In his speech, Khuhro said that the assembly had passed these bills to honour Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain. “He is waving a foreign passport while sitting in London and inviting our enemy to help him intervene in Pakistan’s affairs. We cannot tolerate this,” he said of Altaf.
MQM’s Faisal Subzwari said that Urdu-speaking people rendered sacrifices for Pakistan and will make all efforts to protect it. “We support this law – universities should not be named after a person who is against Pakistan’s sovereignty,” he said. Later, the assembly passed the bills unanimously.
Earlier the assembly had also unanimously passed the private bills to establish these universities. The bill was moved by the MQM and in January 2015, then Sindh governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Bahria Town founder Malik Riaz performed the ground-breaking of the university.
A plot of 80 acres was purchased at a cost of Rs380 million from the Hyderabad Development Authority for the construction of the university, which, after its completion in two years, was said to offer education in business studies, pharmacy, information technology, mass communication and other social science subjects.
After the law, the assembly also adopted a resolution asking the Sindh government to approach the federal government to take note of the acute shortage of irrigation water in Sindh.
A Sindh Cabinet meeting was convened under the chairpersonship of the CM, in which amendments in different bills were discussed and approved.
The meeting discussed the Anti-Terrorism Act (Sindh Amendment) Bill 2016, Sindh Development and Maintenance of Infrastructure Cess Act, 2017, Sindh Shaheed Recognition and Compensation Act 2014, Sindh Occupational Safety and Health Bill-2017, Amendment in Sindh Coal Authority 1993, change of nomenclature in The Altaf Hussain University Act 2014, Amendment in Sindh Revenue Board Act, 2010, Sindh Rented Premises (Amendment) Bill 2017, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Human Resource Research and Development Board Act 2013 and Jacobabad Institute of Medical Science Act 2013.
The home department brought the Anti-Terrorism Act (Sindh Amendment) Bill 2016 in the cabinet, which includes provision of protection for judges, counsels, public prosecutor, witnesses and persons concerned with court proceedings. The CM said that these provisions were necessary for the dispensation of justice and expressed his support of the bill.
Excise and Taxation Minister Dr Mukesh Chawla presented the Sindh Development and Infrastructure Cess Act-2017 in the cabinet meeting, which was approved for introduction in the assembly.
Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro briefed the Cabinet about the amendment in the Jacobabad Institute of Medical Science Act, 2013. He proposed a few amendments to enhance the function of the institute. Under the amendment changes in the structure of the governing body, academic council’s structure and other administrative decisions were proposed.
The home department also proposed an amendment in Section 3(5) of the Sindh Shaheed Recognition and Compensation Act, 2014 which proposes the appointment of at least two family members as legal heirs of the shaheed persons into service in relaxation of the conditions of qualification and age. The CM said that a policeman who lays down his life in the line of his duty for Sindh and its people deserves to be properly protected. In his life he must know that his family would be properly looked even if his lays down his life, he added. He constituted a committee under Dr Mandhro to revise the draft.