Empty house makes a lot of noise

Despite the home minister’s assertion, members of different parties are still being killed, complained the ANP MPA.

Express June 22, 2010

Despite the home minister’s assertion that he was taking adequate measures against  target-killing incidents in the city, members of different parties are still being killed, complained MPA from the Awami National Party Anamullah Mehsud during the Sindh Assembly session on Tuesday.

The session started at around 5:30 pm with the majority of the legislators not present.

During his speech, Mehsud said that two kinds of terrorism - sectarian and political - have gripped the city, but unfortunately no one is willing to give statements against the terrorists in court. He went on to say that there is a dire need to amend the anti-terrorism act by proposing stricter punishments.

“The recommendations of the different Standing Committees of the Sindh Assembly are ignored and they cannot influence any decision so they should be dissolved,” claimed Mehsud.

Minority Rights

Saleem Khurshid Khokhar of the Pakistan People’s Party said that minorities in Sindh have become soft targets and the land of churches and temples are being occupied by changing property documents. He said that the issue should be referred to the relevant standing committee of the Sindh Assembly.  “Minorities should be given incentives, like given to Muslims, so that they can frequently visit religious and sacred places with some monetary relaxation by the government,” he suggested.

On a point of order, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) MPA Nusrat Saher Abbasi, an Opposition member, said that some policemen severely tortured two children, Rashid and Mehmood, in Faiz Ganj, district Khairpur on allegations of theft. “The police have exceeded their limit. They torched the clothes of the children and they were severely burnt,” she said. “They were inhumanly tortured in police custody and no one had the courage to take action against the influential people responsible who were roaming about freely.”

Abbasi demanded the Sindh home minister take immediate action and suspend the police officials involved in the inhuman act.

Water shortage

Elected members of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the Sindh Assembly session showed great concern over acute shortage of water in the Rice Canal and termed it an atrocity for peasants.

PPP MPA Fayyaz Butt and Imran Leghari said the Rice Canal is seasonal and water is collected in it only once a year. They said that there is only a month-and-a-half left for cultivation of the kharif crops to begin, but there is no water.

Sindh Minister for Irrigation and Power Murad Ali Shah conceded that there was also an acute shortage of water in the Nara Canal, like the Rice and Beghari Canals. “Last year, there was around 8,000 cusecs of water in the Nara Canal, but the water level had dropped to only 2,000 cusecs in the canal this year,” he said. However, the minister informed the House that the government is striving to ensure timely provision of irrigation water to growers in all such areas.

Later, the session was adjourned till Wednesday morning.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2010.


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