Opposition cries foul as speaker adjourns session over lack of quorum

Membership of 52 lawmakers’ has been suspended for not submitting details of assets to ECP

Hafeez Tunio January 18, 2019

KARACHI: Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani adjourned the session on Thursday without taking up the agenda, citing the lack of quorum. The opposition parties, however, criticised the speaker for toeing the line and getting dictation from the government. “The quorum was a lame excuse. The membership of around 52 MPAs, including seven ministers, has been suspended by the Election Commission of Pakistan for failing to submit details of their assets,” an official in the Sindh Assembly told The Express Tribune.

As the session started at around 10:15am, there were only ten members on the treasury and opposition benches. Normally, the speaker starts the session one or two hours behind schedule - at 11:30am or 12 noon. On Thursday, however, Durrani immediately adjourned the session till Monday without even ordering recitation of the Holy Quran.

Opposition wants panel on rigging activated

Some lawmakers belonging to the opposition and the treasury benches were in the assembly’s corridors and the opposition chamber when the session was adjourned.

On hearing news of the adjournment, the opposition lawmakers came out and protested the decision. “The speaker has no authority to adjourn the session until or unless any member points out the lack of quorum in the House. This is against the rules,” said Firdous Shamim Naqvi, the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly.

Speaking to the media, Naqvi, who was flanked by Arif Mustafa Jatoi, Nusrat Seher Abbasi and others lawmakers of his party, said, “Around 45 MPAs and seven provincial ministers are on the list of suspension. They have failed to disclose details of assets and liabilities of their spouses and dependent children.”  Accusing the ruling party MPAs and ministers, he said, “They are against transparency and mint money, which is why have failed to submit details of their properties.”


According to ECP, they have suspended membership of around 52 members of the Sindh Assembly. “The Election Act 2017 requires that every member of National Assembly, Senate or provincial assemblies shall submit assets details on or before December 31 each year,” reads the ECP’s notification. “These lawmakers shall cease to function as members with immediate effect till such statements are submitted by them.”

The provincial ministers whose membership have been suspended include minister for parliamentary affairs, excise and taxation, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, minister for minorities, social welfare and food department, Hari Ram minister for information technology, environment, climate change and coastal development, Taimour Talpur, minister for revenue and relief, Mahkhdoom Mehboob Zaman, minister for energy, Imtiaz Shaikh minister for Auqaf, Zakat and Ushr Faraz Ahmed Dero and Nasir Hussain Shah, who is minister for works and  services, prisons and religious affairs.

The majority of the suspended members belong to the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Bilawal dares PM to face opposition in NA

They include Sharjeel Inam Memon, Nadir Magsi, Burhan Chandio, Abdul Rauf Khoso, Sardar Ghulam Abid, Bashir Ahmed Halepoto, Allah Bux Talpur,  Ali Hassan, Taj Mohammad, Hizbullah Bughio, Jam Khan Shoro, Abdul Jabbar, Abdul Kareem Soomro, Arbab Lutfullah, Riaz Hussain Shah Shirazi, Mohammad Saleem, Mehmood Alam Jamot, Tanzila Umi Habiba, Syeda Marvi Faseh, Heer Soho, Hamir Singh, Shaheena, Shazia Umar, Farhat Seemen, Anthony Naveed and Surendar Vilasi of the PPP.

Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s Rana Ansar and Ali Khurshidi, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Malik Shehzad Awan, Kareem Bux Gabool, Raja Azhar Khan, Shaharyar Shar and Hasnain Mirza, Qazi Shams Din and Ali Ghulam of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) have been suspended for failing to submit details of their assets. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 18th, 2019.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ