On Sukkur's contaminated water: Sindh Assembly turns down MQM-Pakistan's adjournment motion

MQM-Pakistan walked out of assembly in protest without support from other opposition members


Hafeez Tunio April 19, 2017
A file photo of the Sindh Assembly in session. During the session on Tuesday, Parliamentary Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro presented the Sindh Shaheed Recognition and Compensation (Amendment) Bill, saying that in addition to the financial compensation, the government will appoint two legal heirs from a family. PHOTO: ONLINE

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly session once again witnessed on Tuesday uproar and walk-out when the government turned down Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) - Pakistan's adjournment motion over the pathetic condition of drinking water in Sukkur.

After the question-and-answer session, Opposition Leader in Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hassan, who had brought with him bottles of the contaminated water as samples, protested over bulldozing his adjournment motion on the issue.

"I have submitted an adjournment motion to discuss dirty water being supplied to citizens of Sukkur but it has been dismissed in the speaker's chamber," he said. "We have decided in principal to continue a protest in each session against the government's discriminatory approach toward opposition."

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"It looks like Khawaja sahib has filled these bottles from a gutter," Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani remarked with a smile.

To this, Hassan said he personally visited Sukkur a few days ago and identified the water as tap water. "I request you to please allow my adjournment motion or ask the government MPAs and ministers to drink this water," remarked Hassan, threatening to protest and walk out of the session if his adjournment motion was not allowed for discussion.

Showing a copy of the rules and procedure of the Sindh Assembly, Durrani responded, "We cannot allow anything against the rules. I have not made these rules. All members sitting in the house have unanimously drafted these rules. How can I go against it?"

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Durrani criticised the opposition members for derogatory remarks against him and the assembly.

Members are compelled to utter such words because of the speaker's unfair rule, said Hassan.

This irked Durrani, who said, "I don't get dictation from the government and run the House as per rules." He suggested the opposition leader to negotiate with the government if they have any issues.

Parliamentary Minister Nisar Khuhro endorsed the speaker, saying the House will be run as per the prescribed rules.

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After the heated argument, MQM members staged a token walk-out against the bulldozing of their adjournment motion.

During the protest, other opposition members belonging to Pakistan Muslim League - Functional (PML-F), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) did not support MQM.

Embarrassment for female MPA

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Kulsoom Chandio faced embarrassment in the House when she moved a bill to establish a private university but had no idea where the university would be established.

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Everyone in the session wondered when Chandio was unable to read the proper name of the university.

Interestingly, the speaker allowed the MPA to move a bill to establish a private university, called 'Ilma University'.

Chandio, who belongs to Dadu sistrict, while briefing about the objectives of the bill, said that students will benefit from the establishment of the university

Khuhro also lauded Chandio's effort to bring a bill to establish a university. However, the female MPA remained silent when MQM Parliamentary Leader Syed Sardar Ahmed asked where the university would be established.

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This confused the lawmaker, who repeatedly looked over the pages of the bill, but was unable to find the university's proposed location.

Meanwhile, the treasury and opposition members continued to enjoy Chandio's effort in seeking the name and location of the university.
After a brief struggle, she said, "It will be established in Ibrahim Hyderi."

But the MQM leader raised another issue when he questioned the meaning of 'Ilma'.

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At this point, Chandio attempted many times but was unable to refer to a verse from the Holy Quran, 'Rabbi Zidni Ilma (O my Lord! Advance me in knowledge)', from where the word 'Ilma' was derived.
Despite her minimal knowledge of the bill, the assembly passed the bill unanimously.

Two more resolutions turned town

The government also turned down two resolutions moved by MQM MPAs Zafar Kamali and Kamran Akhtar.

Kamali requested the cardiac ward of Mirpurkhas Hospital to be upgraded as an institute for cardiovascular disease and Akhtar demanded to establish a cadet college in Karachi.

Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro was of the view that a ward cannot be upgraded as an institute and said the government has already planned a cardiac institute in Mirpurkhas, which will be established soon.

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Responding to Akhtar's resolution, Education Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar said two cadet colleges have already been established in Karachi and, in the future, the government can set up more colleges.

Later, Durrani adjourned the session till Friday.

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