Sindh govt under fire in NA over Karachi lockdown


The treasury members from Karachi on Tuesday blasted the PPP-led Sindh government within the National Assembly for its decision to impose a strict lockdown within the capital within the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, alleged political victimisation of the opposition leader within the Sindh Assembly and “worsening law and order situation” within the city together of the MNAs even involved the imposition of governor rule out the province.

The MNAs belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and therefore the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) vowed to support the Karachi traders protesting against the Sindh government’s decision to impose the nine-day lockdown and warned that there might be an “anarchy-like situation” within the city if the choice wasn’t reversed.

The treasury members, while speaking on points of order on a personal member’s day, also criticised the Sindh government over poor and insufficient arrangements for vaccination of the people in Karachi.

Pakistan Peoples Party lawmaker Syed Naveed Qamar, however, defended the Sindh government’s actions and urged the treasury members to not do politics on the difficulty because it was directly linked to the health of the people.

Meanwhile, it had been the third consecutive sitting of the assembly hit by lack of quorum. Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri adjourned the session till Friday morning without taking over 100 agenda items when the opposition members once more staged a silent walkout and independent MNA Mohsin Dawar acknowledged the lack of quorum.

Mr Dawar acknowledged the quorum in protest when the deputy speaker didn’t give him the ground to reply to the speech of Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan who had criticised him for allegedly maligning the country and state institutions while highlighting the difficulty of last month’s “kidnapping” of the daughter of the Afghan ambassador in Islamabad.

Speaking on some extent of order, MQM MNA from Karachi Usama Qadri alleged that the Sindh government was discriminating while imposing the lockdown in various parts of the province. He said the provincial government had imposed a “curfew” in Karachi which was a violation of the choices of the federal and therefore the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

Mr Qadri was of the view that the provincial governments were sure to implement decisions of the federal in respect of the Covid-19 pandemic. He said daily wagers and little traders had been hit hard by the Sindh government’s decision to impose a “curfew”.

He feared that more people could die due to hunger instead of coronavirus. He also lashed out at the provincial government for “poor arrangements” for vaccination in Karachi, regretting that only five vaccination centres had been found out during a city with a population of nearly 30 million people. He involved establishing vaccination centres at the union council level.

The MQM lawmaker said Karachi’s traders weren’t able to accept the lockdown decision and that they were able to revolt against the provincial authorities. He declared that his party would support the traders in their ongoing protest in Karachi against the lockdown.

Mr Qadri drew the ire of Naveed Qamar for calling the provincial government because of the “government of interior Sindh”. The PPP MNA asked the MQM legislator to not do politics on the coronavirus issue. Mr Qadri also demanded that the people of Karachi be exempted from paying electricity, gas and water bills.

Responding to Mr Qadri’s speech, the PPP MNA from Hyderabad said oxygenated beds were fully occupied in Karachi thanks to the sudden rise within the number of Covid-19 cases and therefore the hospitals had started refusing to admit the patients. He admitted that the traders were facing difficulties, but said it had been for a “limited time period”.

PTI’s MNA from Karachi Attaullah raised the difficulty of “worsening” the law and order situation within the city where, he claimed, the incidents of target killings were increasing. He lashed out at the Sindh government over the alleged political victimisation of Leader of the Opposition Haleem Adil Sheikh and warned that if the PPP didn’t stop its vendetta against the opposition within the province, its own members wouldn’t be safe.

Accusing the Sindh rulers of indulging in corruption, protecting the drug mafia and people involved in target killings, he asked Prime Minister Imran Khan and therefore the federal to impose governor rule out the province, stating that “there is not any other option left”.

Earlier, PML-N parliamentary leader Khawaja Asif raised the difficulty of recruitments in Pakistan Agricul­tural Research Council (PARC) after sacking of many of its employees. He said a parliamentary committee had also sought a report on the difficulty.

Deputy Speaker Suri through a ruling stopped the authorities concerned from sacking the PARC employees and issuing any advertisements for recruitments till the submission of the report back to the committee.

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