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New LG system sails through Sindh Assembly

02 October, 2012

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KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly on Monday passed the Sindh People's Local Government Ordinance 2012 amid strong protest by lawmakers from the PML-F, ANP, NPP, and PML-Q.

Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro presented the bill amid continued protest of opposition members and the House passed it in a few minutes without any discussion.

Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro announced that the bill had been passed "unanimously", as the opposing members did not formally participate in the proceedings. They had already left their seats on the issue of allotment of opposition seats to them in the House. They had gathered before the speaker's rostrum, led by PML-F leader Jam Madad Ali. The members tried to participate in the proceedings while sitting on the ground but Speaker Khuhro ruled that their voice would not be heard until they went back to their seats.

Earlier, the speaker, along with PPP ministers Ayaz Soomro and Sharjeel Memon, spent over half an hour attempting to convince protesting members to return to their seats. However, PML-F leader Jam Madad and his associates refused to budge until they were allotted the demanded seats.

They argued they had filed their applications for the purpose with the Assembly Secretariat. Khuhro expressed inability to allot them the seats, saying they had submitted joint applications in which names of some ministers are also included. He said he could not entertain the applications until acceptance of resignations of their ministers.

Jam Madad and his associates argued that ministers belonging to the PML-F, ANP, NPP, and PML-Q had sent their resignations to Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah 10 days ago, and to the governor on Monday. Memon and Syed Murad Ali Shah informed the speaker that constitutionally the ministers had to submit their resignations in their own handwritings to the governor instead of the chief minister.

Jam Madad showed copies of their resignations to the speaker and said they had also submitted these to the governor. Khuhro told Jam Madad the Assembly Secretariat had not received any notification regarding acceptance of the ministers' resignations. He said he could entertain applications of the members – except the ministers – if they filed applications separately for allotment of opposition seats.

Finally, the speaker started formal proceedings after the protesting members failed to return to their seats. The members boycotted the proceedings when the House did not take up an adjournment motion against the blasphemous video. They also staged a sit-in on the stairs of the assembly building.

Meanwhile, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain and President Asif Zardari met in London on Monday to discuss the local government system in Sindh.

The MQM leader congratulated the president on his speech at the UN General Assembly that reflected the aspirations of the people of Pakistan and Muslims, a PID press release read, quoting the Pakistan High Commission, London.

The MQM chief also congratulated President Zardari on the passage of Local Bodies Bill in the Sindh Assembly, adding, the passage of the historic bill would go a long way in meeting the demands of the people of Sindh.

One killed, several injured during strike in Sindh

A man was killed and seven others, including a child, injured in Nawabshah when police fired in the air to disperse a mob protesting against Sindh People's Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO), on Monday.

A complete shutter-down and wheel-jam strike was observed in interior Sindh to protest against the ordinance, while a partial strike was observed in Karachi where Sindhi and Baloch areas remained shut.

The strike call was given by Sindh Bachao Committee (SBC), an alliance of Sindh's nationalist parties and civil society. The SBC had announced to stage a sit-in in front of the Sindh Assembly. Business activities came to a halt all over Sindh.

Workers of nationalist parties besieged the house of PPP MPA Najamuddin Abro in Safoora. They also staged a protest demonstration against Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro in Larkana.

Meanwhile, Nawabshah remained totally shut against the local government bill. A large number of political activists and citizens took to streets. They blocked the Nawabshah-Sakrand Road and chanted slogans against the PPP and MQM. Police fired tear gas shells to disperse them while in return the protesters pelted the security forces with stones.

Later, the police fired in the air as a result of which a JSQM worker, Khadim Khaskheli, died on the spot while seven others, including nine-year-old Javed Illahi, were injured.

Protesters then pelted the police and Rangers with stones and forced them to retreat. They also set fire to Airport Police Station. Nawabshah Deputy Commissioner Rasheed Zardari said the strike was peaceful, however some anti-social elements fired at police. On the other hand, a JSQM leader said the party will hold ‘peaceful protest' in the entire province against the killing on October 3.

End.

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