KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid for cursing parliament during a multi-party opposition protest in Lahore on January 17.
Two separate resolutions were moved in the provincial assembly by Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Sabir Qaimkhani and Pakistan Peoples’ Party’s (PPP) Ghazala Siyal.
NA passes resolution against Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid
“The assembly condemns the derogatory remarks by Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid against the sanctity of parliament,” read the unanimously-passed resolution as lawmakers from the PPP, the MQM and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) demanded that Imran and Rashid must tender an apology.
Zafar Kamali of MQM termed the anti-parliament remarks as evidence of immaturity and said, "Imran Khan and Sheikh Rashid have been drawing salaries, perks and privilege from parliament, and with such insulting remarks they have shown their political worth." "I cannot comprehend how Imran Khan managed to complete his education at Oxford University," he said.
The PPP’s Fayyaz Butt suggested Imran Khan to visit a psychiatrist.
"Both leaders have been members of parliament for quite some time, but they do not use parliamentary language or respect the sanctity of the National Assembly," he said, adding, "What will be the fate our country if someone like Imran Khan becomes prime minister.”
During the debate, a few PPP MPAs even chanted slogans against Imran Khan. Taimour Talpur who belongs to Umerkot, also used derogatory language against him and said, "There is no need of such person in politics.”
The PPP’s Imdad Pitafi, who is also minister for works and services, referred to murder of his party leaders – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto – and said, "Both our leaders sacrificed lives for democracy and parliament, but people like Khan and Rashid hatch conspiracies to derail democratic dispensation in the country." He appealed to the people of Pakistan to reject such people in elections.
Sabir Qaimkhani, one of the movers of the resolutions, criticised Imran Khan and asked how a person who could not keep his house in order expected to run the country.
PTI lawmakers protest
During the speeches, PTI MPAs repeatedly asked Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani to give them a chance to speak on the resolution, but the speaker put the resolution to the house for a vote without heeding their request. The MPAs then protested in the house. Later, the speaker adjourned the session for an indefinite period.
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After the session, PTI’s Khurrum Sher Zaman and Dr Seema Zia addressed the media and called the speaker biased. They said Durrani had also insulted the assembly, referring to a video that was leaked last year. In the cell phone recording, Durrani said, “I don’t maintain relationships with people for the sake of votes. I pee on votes.”
Zaman, who is also parliamentary leader of his party, questioned why the PPP and the MQM members were afraid of only three PTI members whom they did not allow to talk on resolution. “Is this democracy,” he said.
Deaths in Tharparkar
Earlier, as the session started, the members moved their call attention notices. PML-F MPA Nand Kumar diverted the attention of the house to deaths of three minors in Thar. He questioned the government’s performance in dealing with the deaths of children in Tharparkar district.
Sindh Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro said premature births caused the deaths of the children and that the government has taken drastic measures to deal with the maternal and child mortality rates in the district. “We are ready to discuss this issue if any member moves a motion,” he said.