KARACHI - The remarks of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah wherein he cursed those demanding division of Sindh into two provinces once again echoed in the provincial assembly on Thursday when Opposition Leader Khawaja Izhar-ul-Hasan asked the speaker to expunge these ‘unparliamentary’ remarks.

Speaking on a point of order, Hasan said the chief minister had cursed the people who demanded separate province and his remarks were unparliamentary. He said that even if someone demands new administrative units, such words should not be used against him, as his demand was not against the constitution of Pakistan.

“The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan supports demand for new units on administrative basis in the entire country because administrative units do not mean breaking the country. The people who demand new administrative units may be our voters and supporters, but their demand is not undemocratic, un-Islamic or unconstitutional,” he said.

MQM’s Faisal Subzwari said that if Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was against new units, it should have omitted the article of the constitution that allows the same in the 18th Amendment. He said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was also demanding southern Punjab province. “Should we use same words against him,” he asked?

Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani clarified that there was a ruling according to which unparliamentary words are automatically expunged. He, however, asked the opposition leader to let the chief minister come for further clarification.

Clarifying the matter, Senior Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro said the chief minister in his speech did not name anyone and used those words for a mindset, which wanted to divide Sindh. “No political party through its policy demands a separate province in Sindh, as senior leader of MQM Dr Farooq Sattar in his statement in the National Assembly clearly denied the same. Khuhro said that expunging the remarks of a member who was not present will not be a good gesture, let him (CM) come.

FAKE NEWS AGAINST SPEAKER

The house also condemned the ‘fake’ news that went viral against the speaker. According to the news, jewellery worth millions of rupees was recovered from his residence during a raid. “The video of somewhere else was deliberately circulated to defame me but it’s Allah who gives honour and humiliation to anyone he wants,” said Durrani. On the occasion, the senior minister, opposition leader and members from government and opposition sides also came down hard against the fake news and asked the speaker to take the responsible persons to task.

MOTION AGAINST LOADSHEDDING

Moved by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker Khurram Sher Zaman, the house also accepted an adjournment motion against prolonged loadshedding in Karachi and kept it for discussion on Friday after completion of the agenda.

Responding to the motion, Khuhro said that Zaman’s adjournment motion may be technically wrong but he supported it on moral grounds, saying that loadshedding was on the rise in entire Sindh and the house will condemn the attitude of the power utility and the federal government. The situation became ugly when electricity supply to the house was suspended when the senior minister was on the floor.

EIGHT BILLS PASSED

During the proceedings, the house passed eight bills -- The Sindh Coastal Development Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2018; The Government College University Hyderabad (Amendment) Bill, 2018; The Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Human Resource Research and Development Board (Amendment) Bill, 2018; and The Ziauddin University Examination Board Bill, 2018.

Three bills which were sent back by the governor for reconsideration were also passed. They were Begum Nusrat Bhutto Women University Sukkur Bill, 2018; Shaikh Ayaz University Shikarpur Bill, 2018 and The Sindh (Regularization of Contract Employees of Khairpur Medical College Khairpur) Bill, 2018. Besides, The Sindh Empowerment of Persons With Disabilities Bill, 2018 was passed after presentation of report on it by the special committee.