- Metropolitan University Karachi Bill 2015 sails through Assembly
- House told 108,569 acres of forest land encroached upon by the influentials
Lawmakers from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) boycotted Sindh Assembly’s Tuesday session when its members were not allowed to present a motion for introducing a private bill.
MQM legislators Khalid Ahmed, Jamal Ahmed and Anwer Raza Naqvi wanted to move a motion to introduce a private bill, the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (Amendment) Bill, 2015, but when lawmakers from the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) opposed it, the House did not allow them to present the motion. Upon this, the MQM lawmakers staged a protest and boycotted the House while raising slogans of “go-corruption-go”. The remaining business of the MQM members on the agenda of the day could not be taken up due to their boycott.
Meanwhile, the Sindh Assembly was told by the government that as many as 108,569 acres of forest land had been encroached upon in the province.
Sindh Forest Minister Gayan Chand, to a query of Nusrat Bano Seher Abbasi from the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, told the House that as many as as 108,569 acres of forest land had been encroached upon in different districts of the province by influential people, including politicians, dacoits and feudal lords. However, he said that his department was trying its best to retrieve the encroached land. He further said that the government was also considering inking an accord with these encroachers as per which they would plant trees on those pieces of land but their ownership would be vested with the government.
When the speaker questioned that why the government would ink a partnership with dacoits, the minister said if the dacoits were ready to plant trees over the encroached lands, the government could hold a pact with them.
The speaker told the minister that he himself had lived for one and a half months under the detention of dacoits when he was kidnapped in the past. The minister remarked that besides criminal-dacoits, there were also ‘white-collar dacoits” in the province who were equally indulged in loot and plunder. The forest minister however did not provide any further details on or about identification of these ‘white collar dacoits”.
The provincial assembly meanwhile passed the Metropolitan University Karachi Bill, 2015, unanimously even though MQM members were not present in the House due to their boycott. The bill had been tabled by PPP lawmaker Faseeh Ahmed.
Moreover, the House sent three private bills – the Sindh Prohibition of Corporal Punishment Bill, 2015, tabled by Mahtab Akbar Rashdi of the PML-F; and the Sindh Minorities Rights Commission Bill, 2015, and the Sindh Criminal Law (Protection of Minorities) Bill, 2015 moved by PML-F lawmaker Nand Kumar – to the respective standing committees.