KARACHI – The Sindh Assembly process took a turn for the worse on Friday as lawmakers from the Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf exchanged heated arguments before meeting face-to-face over MPA Khurram Sher Zaman’s remarks about the dog bite case displeasing the ruling party.
It all started when Sherzaman prayed for a two-year-old girl who was reported to have died after being bitten by a dog in Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah’s constituency in Jamshoro and said, “There seems to be a dog rule in the province.” PPP legislators including Minister of Parliament Mukesh Kumar Chawla and Minister of Information, Science and Technology lost their cool at the welcome and moved aggressively toward the PTI bench. Arsalan Taj Ghuman and several other PTI members also responded, meanwhile, PPP’s Fayyaz Butt and Burhan Chandio also moved towards the PTI bench. “Hero Ban Raha Hai Tu Mar Khayega (You become a hero, you will be destroyed),” said Talpur to Ghuman who replied, “Kon Hai Tu, Jaa Yahan se (Who are you, get out of here). “Bahar Aaa, Idhar Aaa, (come out, come here), said Burhan Chandio while asking the PTI members to fight with him. “They (PPP) were crushed in the National Assembly and are now being pulled back,” said a PTI legislator.
Agha speaker Siraj Durrani tried to calm the situation and asked members from both sides to maintain courtesy. “This is not the way to behave in an assembly and especially during Friday prayers,” he added.
Durrani asked his members to leave if they were attracted by the violence. While erasing all the non-negotiable words, he asked lawmakers not to use ‘Bazaari Language’ at home. Cajoling members from both sides and stepping in to control the quarrel which lasted several minutes. When Sherzaman continued his Dua (prayer), he said that too many wine shop licenses were issued by Chawla, who is also the holder of Excise Tax and Narcotics Control.
The remarks once again sparked chaos in the assembly, when the minister replied “He (Sherzaman) also served substandard food in his restaurant.” While the quarrel was controlled, chaos remained throughout the trial process as Talpur, who answered during the Question Hour, continued to criticize the Central and the provincial government of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa most of the time instead of responding to questions relating to his department.
During question and answer hours, the Speaker asked ministers and ministers not to go “out of context.” “If it goes off track, I will not allow it,” he said. Durrani also reminded to expel members who do not wear masks. “Please wear a mask, otherwise go outside,” the speaker who looked annoyed added.
‘Rs 100 billion short of federal transfers’
Separately, Regional Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that despite a shortfall of more than Rs 100 billion in federal transfers in the current fiscal year, development work is “underway” in Sindh province.
Responding to PTI MPA Sidra Imran’s request for attention regarding the Karachi development scheme, the minister added that Sindh was only the province where development projects were continuing, adding that Prime Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was focused on provincial development despite major cuts in the current financial year.
He added that 19 of Karachi’s mega projects were nearing completion, while work on 23 of them would begin soon. Additionally, work is in progress on 7 Lyari Development Authority projects, 44 Karachi Water and Sewerage Agency projects, 50 Karachi Development Authority projects and 15 Karachi Metropolitan Corporation projects.
“A total of 62 new KMC schemes have also been approved covering roads and flyovers,” added the Minister.
Nasir said a tender worth Rs one billion had been awarded for the Karachi site area and work had begun on the industry for infrastructure improvements. “Work is being done on projects funded by the World Bank, but have been postponed due to COVID-19,” he added.
Later, the house was postponed until Monday.