Sindh Assembly speaker dismisses PTI’s motion for debate on JIT report

Published: January 1, 2019
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Sindh Assembly Session. PHOTO: FILE

Sindh Assembly Session. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Sindh Assembly speaker Agha Siraj Durrani rejected on Monday an adjournment motion filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA Khurram Sher Zaman to discuss the findings of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which has allegedly implicated the chief minister of being a facilitator in the money laundering case.

As he submitted the adjournment motion in the Sindh Assembly on Monday morning, Zaman said, “It is clear from the JIT report that the Sindh chief minister, instead of acting in the best interests of the province, has given preferential treatment to former president Asif Ali Zardari and the Omni Group.” The lawmaker added, “The matter is of public importance and should be discussed on the floor of assembly.”

The PTI MPA was of the opinion that some of the “documented criminal activities outlined in the recent JIT report submitted to the apex court implicate the chief minister as an abettor”. Referring to the last decade of the PPP’s rule in Sindh, Zaman alleged that the ruling party had done nothing but corruption.

Zaman also diverted the media’s attention towards the arrests of Uzair Baloch and Nisar Morai and said that PTI leaders were desperately waiting for their JIT reports.  He added that the PTI would protest inside the assembly if his adjournment motion was dismissed.

Dismissal

Some time after the adjournment motion was filed, the Sindh Assembly speaker, Durrani, dismissed it.   According to a notification issued by Sindh Assembly’s additional secretary, M H M Hasssan Shah, the adjournment motion was dismissed in accordance with provisions of rules 88 (B) and (N) of the rules of procedure of the Sindh Assembly.  “Speaker has disallowed the adjournment,” the letter issued by the Assembly Secretariat states.

The rant continues

Meanwhile, PTI lawmakers continued to raise their voice against the chief minister inside and outside the Assembly’s premises on Monday. Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry was also supposed to arrive in Karachi on Monday to meet anti-PPP parties and groups.

He reportedly cancelled his visit after the SC expressed concern over putting the CM’s name on the Exit Control List.

Sindh Information Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab, while commenting on Fawad Chaudhry’s visit, said, “Fawad Chaudhry is more than welcome to visit Sindh, but for not the purpose of hatching conspiracies.”

He was of the view that people of Sindh were known for their hospitality and would always welcome the federal information minister to the province. “I think he has cancelled his visit after having realised some ground realities.”

According to Murtaza, PTI cannot form the government in Sindh even if it struggles for the next 50 years.  He termed the news about the forward bloc in Sindh ‘rumours’ and said the PPP had majority in the Sindh Assembly with 99 members who are united and would foil all conspiracies.

Wahab said that he had conveyed a message to the PTI lawmakers to go through the Constitution, which doesn’t allow Governor’s rule or horse trading in the Assembly.

“The federal government’s efforts to malign the PPP leadership is a political coup,” he said, adding that the Sindh government, as well as Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari,  are being targeted simply for exposing the undemocratic conduct of the federal government .

Counter-motion

Meanwhile, PPP lawmakers moved on Monday a joint resolution, seeking to place the names of Prime Minister Imran Khan and federal ministers Pervez Khattak, Farogh Naseem, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and PM’s special assistant Zulfi Bukhari on the ECL. The resolution was moved by Sadia Javed and Nida Khuhro.

Speaking to the media, Javed said the PTI government has started selective accountability by targeting its political opponents. “There are serious allegations against the prime minister and his cabinet members. We want to know why their names are not placed on the ECL,” she said. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2019.

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