Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro responded on Tuesday to the vitriolic comments hurled at him by nationalist leaders after the provincial legislature approved the new local government system.
After the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance 2012 was passed in the assembly on Monday, Sindh United Party’s chief and convenor of the Save Sindh Committee, Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah, held a press conference in which he said that Khuhro was a traitor who had betrayed Sindh.
Khuhro responded by organising a press conference on Tuesday at the Sindh Assembly’s committee room. He said that he felt proud of being the speaker of a house which had approved the local government law democratically. “It is very unfortunate that Sindhi nationalists support dictators’ laws, which have never been vetted by assemblies,” he said. “They remain silent when a dictator takes over but vent their dissent when elected governments take over. I am requesting them to protest peacefully rather than disrupting law and order in Sindh.”
He added that if nationalists do not like the new system, they should boycott the upcoming local government elections. “Jalal Mehmood Shah did not oppose the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government when it said that it would build the Kalabagh Dam. He was the deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly but left his chair when we moved a resolution against the mega dam. But now, he wants to champion the rights of Sindh.”
When the speaker’s attention was drawn towards the government’s promise to make amendment to the new law, he said “We wanted to initiate a debate on this issue before the bill was passed, but opposition members did not go back to their seats and did not make any suggestions.”
The Sindh Assembly speaker added that before the assembly session started, he met MPAs opposing the system and told them that he could not allot them seats in the opposition benches until the resignations were approved by the governor.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2012.