All quiet on the Sindh front


Hafeez Tunio April 16, 2010

KARACHI: Around 51 legislators of the Sindh Assembly gave the adage “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” a whole new meaning.

Members of the provincial assembly stayed quiet throughout the second parliamentary year, not because they were humble or bashful. They chose not to communicate with the House and did not take part in any legislation making, the very reason why they were elected as representatives of the public.

These 51 MPAs did not table any resolutions or move any privilege motions. Neither did they table private bills nor did they raise any questions on a point of order. According to sources, during the parliamentary year, around 29 bills and 67 resolutions were passed by the assembly and 1,254 questions were raised by different legislators, except these members.

Among them, 27 belong to the Pakistan Peoples Party, 14 to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, four to the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional and six MPAs belong to the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid. Some of them include Jam Akramullah Dharejo, Abdul Rahim Khoso, Sardar Ali Ahmed Petafi, Ghulam Ahmed Shahleyani, Mir Hassan Khoso, Mir Mehbood Ali Bijarani, Dr Ali Ahmad Shah, Dr Abdul Sattar Rajpur, Ali Ahmed Jalbani, Syed Fasi Ahmed Shah, Ghulam Qadir Chandio, Pir Syed Bachal Shah Jeelani, Pir Ahmed Raza Shah Jeelani, Naeem Kharal, Ghulam Sarwar Siyal, Aziz Ahmad Jatoi, Farzana Hanif, Rukhsana Shah and Lal Chand.

Commenting on the issue, former Sindh Assembly deputy speaker Jalal Mehmood Shah said most of the members are not eligible to win the election. “Most of them don’t have a vote bank and they become legislators just with the support of their parties,” he said. “Their parties want to maintain the status quo and members just choose to toe their line.”

It seems as if the parties do not want to see qualified, concerned and bold members at the assembly floor to raise relevant and pressing issues, said the deputy speaker. “The role of our legislators is now confined to getting contracts for development schemes, through which they get kickbacks,” he added. Barrister Zamir Ghumro, a legal expert, held both the voters and the MPAs responsible, saying that the voters did not know the importance of their vote.

“People need to hold such legislators accountable and keep that in mind when voting for them.”

3rd parliamentary year

The Sindh Assembly’s first session of its third parliamentary year 2010-2011 was adjourned on Thursday by Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro after the House paid tribute to the late Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MPA Partab Singh. The session started at 12:45 pm - over two hours late - with the speaker nominating two members from the ruling coalition and two from the opposition for the panel of four chairmen.

The panel rules the House if and when the speaker and deputy speaker are unavailable. Faisal Sabzwari, the MQM deputy parliamentary leader, said that Partab Singh was a committed member of the House who had rendered his services for the welfare of his community in Nagarparkar, Thar.

Sindh law minister Ayaz Soomro requested the speaker for a two-minute silence to be observed after which the House should be adjourned, in the assembly’s tradition. After the Fateha was offered, the House was adjourned till 9:30 am on Friday.

However, while offering the Fateha, some members of the House were seen talking. The next session is scheduled to begin Friday morning and the agenda includes the nomination of MPAs to the standing committees on environment and alternative energy, transport, information, planning and development.

The agenda also includes a question-and-answer session relating to the Auqaf, Environment and Alternate Energy departments. An announcement will be made on the governor’s messages for the reconsideration of two bills of 2009 on the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University and the People’s University of Medical and Health Services for Women in Shaheed Benazirabad.

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