Lawmakers didn’t have much time for assembly


Hafeez Tunio April 21, 2010

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly session on Tuesday, which started at 11:40 am, ended at 2 pm without completing business, much to the surprise of some people, including legislators who were expecting to cover more ground.

YMCA encroachment

Among the issues raised was the encroachment of YMCA land. Saleem Khurshid Khokhar, minorities MPA from the Pakistan Peoples Party, said that despite clear directives by the Sindh High Court, the police have not removed people occupying the amenity plot.

Khokar said that in a January 3, 2001 verdict, the SHC had ordered the demolishment of all illegal construction on the plot, however, the ground where young people used to carry out sporting and cultural activities remains occupied.

Agha Siraj Durrani, provincial minister for local government, asked for a copy of the verdict so that it could be implemented, which was immediately provided by Khokhar. Noting that the court had instructed the Karachi Building and Control Authority to investigate the situation, Durrani said that he would ask the authority, which comes under his domain, to expedite the process.

Begum Nusrat Bhutto

Responding to Federal Minister for Law Babar Awan’s statement regarding the “clinical death” of Begum Nusrat Bhutto, MPA Haji Munwar Ali Abbasi of the PPP said that “the government should inform us about her actual condition,” and prayed for her health.

Violence in Sindh

Muslim League-Functional MPA Nusrat Saher Abbasi said that despite the formation of peace committees to improve the security situation in the province, frequent tribal clashes are still claiming many lives. Some of the tribes she mentioned were Maher, Jatoi, Solangi, Kharosh, Marfani and Jageerani, adding that the writ of the government is not visible.

“I don’t know how people get the latest weapons,” she said. Some members of the PPP tried to defend the government and Abbasi’s attempt to continue at the same time led to commotion in the house with opposition members complaining of discrimination and demanding the same rights as the treasury benches. Durrani said that peace committees have improved the law and order situation and claimed that most of the no go areas had been cleared. The Provincial Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ayaz Soomro said that jirgas were a tradition of Sindh and help in resolving disputes. “But some elements oppose [the system] creating problems for PPP led government.”

Kidnapping and rape

Abdul Razzak Rahimo, an MPA from Thar, said that the police did not take any steps to apprehend those accused of the kidnapping and rape of a Hindu woman, Kasturi, in Umerkot, Thar. Sharjeel Inam Memon, PPP MPA from Thar, said that the police was initially reluctant to register the case and only did so after the court’s order.

Electricity

Fayyaz Butt said that many areas in Sindh do not have electricity for 10 to 15 hours. In response, Soomro said that a meeting was taking place in Islamabad under the leadership of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani with the chief ministers of all provinces to discuss the matter.

Local government

Speaking to the media before the assembly session, Durrani said, “since we all are busy preparing the provincial budget for the year 2011, it is difficult to hold the local bodies elections before that”. He added that there was no “deadlock” between coalition partners. Meanwhile, the local government ordinance draft has been finalised, he said. Regarding rumors about changing the city administrator Lala Fazal Rehman who is unwell, Durrani said that there was no need for such a step.

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