KARACHI   -   Three major opposition parties in the Sindh Assembly boycotted the proceedings after exchange of arguments between them and the treasury.

The rumpus in the assembly started during Dua when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA Shahnawaz Jadoon and Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of the Grand Democratic Alliance asked to pray against corrupt elements. “Pray for running the generation of those who looted the national exchequer,” Jadoon asked. The Pakistan Peoples Party’s lawmakers intervened and urged the opposition members not to politicise at least Dua.

Even in the Question Hour, the treasury and the opposition continued to criticise each other. Replying to a query of Arif Mustafa Jatoi of the GDA, Minister for Information, Science and Technology Muhammad Taimur Talpur informed that they have no IT training centre in the province; however, he added that the government facilitating training at IBA.

Opposition Leader Firdaus Shamim Naqvi expressed severe concerns over absence of training centres, saying that even in the era of IT, there was not a single centre in Sindh. “At least 100,000 IT experts should be passed out from Sindh to endure in the modern world,” he added.

When Naqvi was on his floor, the PTI parliamentary leader Haleem Adil Shaikh started speaking and said “It is an era of IT for others but for the PPP, it is an era of JIT.” Then Jatoi came up with a unique question and asked Talpur, “What is Information and Technology?” The GDA lawmaker also asked the minister to spell word ‘Science’.

Hitting back at Jatoi, Talpur said it was seemed that you had passed matriculation and intermediate examination after bribing. “Go and give exams again you will let know what is Information and Technology,” said the minister.

The members of PTI, GDA and MQM-P started protesting when they were not allowed to raise supplementary questions as the deputy speaker Rehana Laghari, who was chairing the house, called the question. “I just could not see your raised hands, you people will be allowed to ask supplementary questions in the next query,” she said while trying to persuade them. However, the protesting members walked out from the house but the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal did not join them.

“We are ready to answer each and everything but it is very sad that the opposition parties don’t want to put up queries. They would boycott the next general elections as well and the PPP members would be sitting in the entire assembly,” Talpur added.

Five call attention notices – pertaining to illegal connections and theft of drinking water, shortage of medicine in rural health centre Jamshoro, alleged abolition of trauma center in Hyderabad and ‘closure’ of  Reforms Support Units and Reforms Progammes established by World Bank— and a privilege motion could not be taken up as the movers were on boycott. Speaking on a point order, the TLP parliamentary leader Muhammad Qasim said that the federal government is victimising its political opponents. He said that constitution ensures provision of basic human rights to every citizen. Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s arrest was violation of the constitution.

Outdated Curriculum

The Minister for Education and Literacy Syed Sardar Ali Shah admitted that current curriculum was outdated and it needed to be changed after a decade. While responding to a point of order raised by the MMA’s Syed Abdur Rasheed regarding 3,900 mistakes in the recent books published by Sindh Textbook Board Jamshoro.

Meantime, The Sindh Zakat and Ushr (Amendment) Bill, 2018 was passed unanimously.

Opposition is united

Speaking to media after boycotting the assembly, the opposition parties slammed the treasury benches and said the government did not have time and vision to resolve the problems of people and busy to save the skin of their corrupt leaders.

The opposition leader said the minister got indulged on personal attacks when he was not able to answer the questions. He said everyone is witnessing how the deputy speaker is running the house. Naqvi said the treasury benches are bent to harm the sanctity of the house. “The business advisory committee has been formed without our consultation,” he said while demanding that public accounts committee should be given to the opposition.

Haleem Adil Shaikh of the PTI said they have seen a civilian dictatorship in the behaviour of deputy speaker. He said it was asked what the meaning of IT is, and they thought we were asking about the JIT. He said we will open the IT centres.

Shaikh alleged that some of have become minister after giving bribes, adding that masses would hold them accountable. “Entire opposition is united on the issues of Sindh. The PPP want to give lands to Anwar Majeed,” he added.

MQM-P parliamentary leader Kanwar Naveed Jameel was of the view that deputy speaker has become biased and she was trying to hide the corruption of her party leaders. He said the government side was not serious to run the house, adding that they would continue protesting, if the government failed to mend its ways.

Hasnain Mirza of the GDA said the PPP got the government owing to the sacrifices of Benazir Bhutto. He added that the Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah did not care about the philosophy of his leaders. He said they have been mandated by the people and they wanted this house to be run democratically.

“We are the third largest party in Sindh Assembly but we have not been allotted a single room in its premises. Some people have become MPAs on son quota and they should understand the assembly rules,” he concluded.