KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has lamented that the elected government of Punjab has refused to honour the production orders of MPA Faryal Talpur, while the same orders were honoured by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) when she was in their custody.
The CM gave these remarks while addressing a press conference along with four of his cabinet members - Saeed Ghani, Mukesh Chawla, Sohail Anwar Siyal, Murtaza Wahab - and Advocate Zia Lanjar at the Chief Minister House on Sunday.
Shah said that when Talpur was in NAB custody, she was brought to the assembly to attend the session but ever since she has been sent to jail, which operates under the administration of the elected government of Punjab, every production order issued by the speaker of the Sindh Assembly for her production has been dishonored.
Quoting the example of MNA Khwaja Saad Rafiq, the chief minister said that he was in jail but when the speaker issued his production order, he was produced in the National Assembly. "This is very serious and is bound to further aggravate the sense of deprivation already prevailing among the people of Sindh," he said.
The chief minister said that the provincial assembly had passed a resolution, urging him [CM] to use his office for the production of Faryal Talpur in the provincial assembly. "Being chief minister, I was bound to act upon the will of the house, therefore I talked to the Punjab chief secretary and governor to honour the production orders of the speaker of Sindh Assembly but all my requests fell on deaf ears," he lamented, adding that he even tried to contact the chief minister of Punjab but he was too busy and couldn't receive his calls.
Being an elected member of the provincial assembly, Talpur is entitled to represent her constituents in the house, said Shah. "The rules of the provincial and national legislative assemblies empower the speaker to issue production orders of the detained or arrested member and the government is bound to honour them," he said, adding that the elected government of Punjab was not honouring the production orders of the speaker which was surprising for him.
To a question, the chief minister said that it didn't matter that the `rulers' were not listening to him. "I am addressing this press conference just to inform the people of Pakistan how the representatives they elect are denied their representation in the assembly," he said, adding that this was what he wanted to tell the people of Punjab too.
Shah said that the PPP's elected representatives and other leaders were not afraid of accountability, but accountability has been translated into victimisation. "This is against democracy and democratic institutions," he said. He added that MPA Faryal Talpur used to attend the assembly session and standing committee meetings when she was in NAB custody and was sent back to court when her hearings were fixed.
"When are we asking you not to try us and our leaders? What we are asking you is to be fair with us," he said.
Talpur's lawyer, Advocate Zia Lanjar said that the NAB court has clearly written in its order that she should be produced in the assembly whenever her production orders are issued and returned to the court when her case is fixed. But these orders have not been obeyed, he said.
The chief minister said that the provincial assembly session has been summoned on September 13, and the speaker has issued the production orders of MPA Faryal Talpur. He demanded the Punjab Government allow her production in the Sindh Assembly.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2019.