KARACHI - Opposition parties in the Sindh Assembly divided on demand of Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani’s resignation as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf straightaway asked him to step down in the wake of his arrest by the corruption watchdog whereas the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and the Grand Democratic Alliance opted ‘wait and see’ policy.

Following Durrani’s arrest, the PTI lawmakers led by Khurram Sher Zaman reached the provincial and demanded the speaker to step down as ‘he lost the moral authority’. Speaking to media, Zaman said it was shameful that the Pakistan People’s Party was condemning the arrest. “The National Accountability Bureau has arrested the beloved one of Asif Ali Zardari on the charges of having assets beyond his known income. We hope and expect that the NAB must have some solid evidences against Durrani if it has initiated the process,” he said while asking the NAB to investigate the alleged corruption in the funds allocated for uplift works in the Sindh Assembly.

The PTI leader also hinted at moving the Election Commission of Pakistan for disqualification of the Speaker. He also asked the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to himself remove Durrani from the Speaker’s slot. “Bilawal speaks a lot about rule of law in the country and now the time has come for him to follow the traditions of democracy by bringing new Speaker,” he added while giving examples PTI leaders—Aleem Khan, Babar Awan and Azam Swati.

Zaman stated that they were amazed to see the PPP leadership was condemning the arrest of their ‘corrupt’ speaker. He said it was regretful that the Advisor to CM Sindh Barrister Murtaza Wahab condemned the NAB act. There are evidences of corrupt practices against the PPP leaders from Karachi to Kashmore,” he added.

He was of the view that the PPP wished to change the NAB laws despite the fact that the same law was there in its tenure in the centre. The PTI leader said that all those who served as local government ministers from 2008 were on the NAB radar as well as the chief executive of the province himself nominated in the corruption cases.

On the other hand, the second and the third largest opposition parties in the assembly, the MQM-P and the GDA respectively decided not to show heist and take time. The MQM-P remained on the safe side and did not respond to the major opposition party’s demand of Durrani’s resignation as none of its member commented on the arrest, instead the Rabita Committee issued a statement in which it urged in discriminatory probe.

“The MQM-P believes in transparent, indiscriminatory and timely provision of justice. We hope that the Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani would be given fair opportunity in his defence,” the Rabita Committee added/

Separately, Pir Sabghatullah Rashdi commonly known as Pir Pagara presided over the GDA meeting here which was attended by senior leaders including Pir Sadaruddin Rashdi, Zulfikar Mirza, Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Dr Safdar Abbasi, Irfanullah Marwat. It was decided in the meeting to avoid any reaction on the arrest until the party decides further course of action.

However in a video message, Pir Sadaruddin said that Durrani could have avoided his arrest, had he cooperated with the NAB. “Many people including Durrani were being interrogated and summoned by the corruption watchdog for the alleged involvement in corruption practices even before the general elections 2018 but they did not turn up. Durrani was the custodian of the house and he should have been appeared before the NAB, if he was directed to do so,” said Pir Sadaruddin.