KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly passed its second censure motion against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Khurrum Sher Zaman on Friday for the ‘disorderly’ behaviour of tearing rules and agenda copies and tossing them at the speaker’s podium.
The move was supported by all opposition members except those belonging to the PTI. The members all condemned the PTI lawmaker’s ‘unruly’ behaviour. Zaman is also the party’s parliamentary leader in the assembly.
During the session, which started with Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in chair at 4pm, Zaman moved a call attention notice about water scarcity in his constituency – PS-112 Clifton. “Will the honourable minister for local government please give an answer about his failure to provide water to the residents of Clifton?” he asked. As he continued his speech, emotions ran high, eventually leading Durrani to cut him off. “You can’t deliver a speech on a call attention notice. You are supposed to raise the issue and the minister concerned will give an answer to it,” he censured.
But Zaman continued his speech, leading the speaker to have his microphone switched off. “Those who can’t get media publicity behave like this in the House,” said Durrani.
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Zaman left his chair and headed towards the speaker, protesting against his decision not to allow him to speak and tore up copies of the agenda and rules and procedures, tossing them at the podium. After the protest, Zaman and the other PTI MPAs walked out of the session.
Parliamentary Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro stood up and requested the speaker to allow him to speak about the issue. “This is the second time Khurrum Sher Zaman has violated the sanctity of this House. You have the power to take action if any member repeats the same mistake,” he said. “I want to move a censure motion condemning his attitude and for insulting the speaker who is custodian of the house,” Khuhro said.
“I have powers under the rules of the assembly and can punish any member who violates the sanctity of this House, but I always avoid this,” responded Durrani, adding that Zaman was not a mature man and needed more time to learn politics.
After that Khuhro moved the censure motion which stated, “I move that this House censure the attitude, utterance and use of un-parliamentary language by Khurrum Sher Zaman against the chair of the speaker and also [for tearing] a copy of the agenda and throwing it towards the desk of the honourable speaker. Such attitude of a member damages the dignity of the chair of the speaker, sanctity of the House and parliamentary practices in a democracy.” The move was supported by the opposition and session adjourned.
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Citing the rules, Sindh Assembly Secretary GM Umer Farooq said the speaker has the right to award punishment to any member for violating the sanctity of the House. “The punishment can range from one to 15 days against whom the censure motion has been passed in the House,” he explained.
The Sindh Assembly had also passed censure motions against then opposition leader Sheharyar Mahar in April, 2015 and Zaman in 2017. No action was taken following the motions, as both lawmakers tendered apologies.
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