Sindh Assembly session – United they stand on PML-N, divided they are on oil price hike

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KARACHI – The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) succeeded in getting a unanimous resolution against the Pakistan Muslim League-N adopted in the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday after convincing coalition partners Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) of the need for such a resolution.
This unity was short-lived, however, as Muttahida staged a token walkout against the fresh increase in petroleum prices made by PPP’s government in the Centre soon after the PML-N resolution was passed. Three parties – coalition partners Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and National People’s Party (NPP), as well as Pakistan Muslim League-Q -stayed away from the resolution, with their members abstaining during the passage of the resolution.
The MQM not only supported the resolution, but its members were also co-movers. The resolution states: “This Assembly expresses its concern over the attempt of the PML-N to introduce horse-trading/floor crossing in the Punjab Assembly/inciting ethnic polarization; and condemns such acts of the PML-N which are immoral and against the spirit and principles of democratic values and against the stability of federation, including the threat of Long March, which is an attempt to derail the entire democratic system by such illegal activities creating impediments in the way of the Parliament from completing its constitutional tenure.”
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah said that the resolution was aimed at strengthening the country by an assembly which had passed a resolution for creation of this country. He said that the country needs more political maturity at this time. Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Haq said that when three smaller provinces were following politics of reconciliation, Punjab should also play an exemplary role.
He said that threats are being issued for a long march against a democratic government, but the people of Pakistan knew who was supporting terrorists in the country. The senior minister also said the MQM had supported the PML-N government twice in the past despite braving operations during PML-N regimes. Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said that PML-N was not accepting to politics of other parties in Punjab, but it should understand that its one-man show would not last.
Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani said that it was the PML-N which had introduced horse trading and floor crossing culture in the country during 90s, and was again following the same path. Katchi Abadis Minister, Rafiq Engineer said that Shahbaz Sharif should resign from his office, and seek a fresh vote of confidence having lost the support of 107 members from the PPP.
MQM’s Nadim Maqbool said that PPP and MQM leaders and workers have rendered sacrifices for democracy in the country. “These persons have adopted the language of dictators in democratic times,” he said, adding that democracy does not suit them. He assured that PPP that both the parties would jointly foil any every made to derail the democracy. Rasheed Khan of the MQM said that reconciliatory politics should continue in the country.
Soon after Stand-in Speaker Dr Sikandar Mandhro announced that the resolution had unanimously been passed, MQM’s Abdul Moeed Siddiqui sought permission to move a resolution albeit on an out-of-turn basis. When Siddiqui started reading his resolution, however, it turned out that the MQM was demanding withdrawal of the fresh increase in petroleum prices.
Senior Minister Haq intervened and suggested to the MQM member to postpone his resolution, offering instead that the PPP could be part of the resolution if they agreed to present it next day. However, MQM’s Khawaja Izharul Hassan insisted that members should at least be allowed to speak on the resolution.