Sindh’s water being stolen, minister tells NA

Govt, opposition unite in criticism of former PM Imran

Saqib Virk May 24, 2022


Lawmakers from both sides of the divide in the National Assembly raised a plethora of issues facing the country ranging from forest fire to water scarcity, from electricity load-shedding to the arrest for former human rights minister Dr Shireen Mazari.

However, during the session marred by the lack of quorum, both the treasury benches as well as the opposition, were united in criticising former prime minister Imran Khan, accusing him of damaging the national economy and destroying institutions.

Raja Pervaiz Ashraf chaired the session, which started after one-and-a-half hour delay. But even at the outset of the session, the opposition pointed to the lack of quorum, and the session was adjourned and reconvened after sometime.

The house passed the Pakistan Global Institute Bill 2021. The Election Amendment Ordinance 2022 was also tabled during the session. In addition, a bill to establish a forensic science agency was also introduced in the National Assembly.

During the Question Hour, Dr Fahmida Mirza of the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) drew attention of the house towards a severe water shortage in Sindh. “We all know there is water shortage,” the opposition lawmaker said.

Responding to the question, Water Resources Minister Syed Khursheed Shah said that about 10,000 to 12,000 cusecs of water from Sindh’s share was being stolen downstream Taunsa and upstream Guddu. He added that 80% of Sindh’s water woes could be resolved if 10,000 cusecs more water was given to it.

Later the debate turned to political matters. Defence Minister Khawaja Asif criticised former prime minister Imran Khan for changing his statements every day. “In his public gatherings he used to say institutions should not be neutral but now he is asking the institutions to remain neutral,” he said.

“In which one of his statements do we trust,” Asif wondered. “The previous government turned the country into ruins, now all the parties would have to work for the redevelopment of the country,” he added, while welcoming the newly-appointed Opposition Leader Raja Riaz.

Read More: Farmers denounce IRSA’s move to slash Sindh’s water

Delivering his maiden speech as the opposition leader, Raja Riaz said that the house needed to unite to stop Imran Khan from further damaging the country. “The government will not be able to function if it goes soft today.”

Riaz Mazari of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said that he had differences with Imran Khan but added that he would openly oppose the government in the house. He mentioned that “even today there is a problem of law and order” in his area.

GDA’s Ghaus Bakhsh Mahar spoke about the appointment of the opposition leader. Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf replied that according to the Constitution, whoever had the support of the majority became the opposition leader. “Raja Riaz has the support of the most opposition members,” he added.

Salahuddin of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) complained about the unannounced load shedding. “I request the prime minister to take notice. We did not support the prime minister just for a few ministries,” he said. His views were supported by the opposition’s Abdul Akbar Chitrali.

Mohsin Dawar said that the jungle fire had been raging in the Suleiman range for the past 15 days. Dr Fahmida Mirza condemned the arrest of former minister and senior PTI leader Dr Shirin Mazari and demanded of the government to take notice of cases registered against media persons.


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