KARACHI: A strong protest by three opposition parties in Sindh Assembly on Monday provided an excuse to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to escape from presenting its resolution to ratify special policing powers to Rangers in line with the Article 147 of the Constitution of the country.
However, the main opposition party in the House, MQM, remained silent during the protest of the three smaller parties; PTI, PML-N and PML-F. The opposition clamor, which forced the Speaker to adjourn the house abruptly till Tuesday morning, spanned for about 22 minutes.
The protesting legislators asked Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani to let them table an out-of-turn resolution to support the Rangers operation in the city and urge the government to issue executive orders for extending the special policing powers to the paramilitary force.
When speaker did not allow the motion, they began protesting with high-pitched chants ‘Supporters of terrorists are traitors’ and tore up copies of the House’s daily businesses agenda and tossed them up while standing before the Speaker’s rostrum. Sindh government, which failed to table its resolution seeking rectification of Rangers’ special policing powers for the third time, might not be able to table it in today’s (Tuesday) sitting. The government, which placed its resolution as 11th item on Assembly’s daily agenda, may be able to table it in the house for debate on Wednesday.
The opposition protest widely helped the ruling PPP to escape from not only the protesting parties’ resolution supporting Rangers but the one that the treasury had to bring in the house.
The MQM’s neutrality is seen as support to the ruling PPP, which faced a weaker opposition in its absence and easily dealt with. The speaker contended that the there had been no such resolution on the assembly’s agenda, which the protesting opposition was asking for tabling in the house. Aga Siraj told the protesting lawmakers to end their clamor and let the house complete its remaining business but his advice went unheard.
He said that the Sindh government had to extend policing powers of Rangers and not the provincial legislature, advising the protesters to approach the government. He also requested to the senior lawmakers and former chief ministers of Sindh, Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Liaquat Ali Khan Jataoi to help the opposition calm down.
The house remained in chaos and there was no sign it will return to normality as both the treasury and opposition stick to their stated positions. The speaker refused to accommodate the opposition’s resolution, saying: “I will not follow your dictation”. Sindh Senior Education Minister Nisar Khuhro and Sindh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sikandar Mandhro called the opposition protest as ‘disorder’ in the house.
They said that the treasury wanted to extend special powers to Rangers and blamed the opposition for creating hurdles in ratifying the resolution. It is to be mentioned here that every Tuesday, when assembly is in session, is dedicated to lawmakers’ private bills, resolutions and motion in the house and no official agenda is discussed.
Source: Business Recorder