World | Pakistan

Law bill torn up in Sindh assembly

Opposition members tied black bands on their arms in protest

  • By Ashraf Khan, Correspondent
  • Published: 18:51 November 15, 2012
  • Gulf News

KARACHI: Opposition members on Thursday tore up copies of the Sindh Peoples Local Government Law amid pandemonium after the governor signed the bill, giving it the status of law, ready for enactment.

The session of the assembly began about an hour of the schedule time as the parliamentarians of the two factions of Pakistan Muslim League and Awami National Party were not assigned opposition benches despite their demand.

Combined 14 members of the PML, Functional, PML (Q) and ANP, which were the part of the ruling alliance with the PPP and MQM separated their paths as they contested the approval of SPLG.

PPP and MQM having comfortable majority in the 167-member house easily passed the bill and referred it to the governor for final signing.

The opposition members tied black bands on their arms to express their protest over the new law, which was also resented by Sindhi nationalists.

Speaker of the assembly Nisar Khoro later assigned opposition benches to the 14 members of the PML F, Q, and ANP. Soon after the allocation of opposition benches, the members of PML F and Q started shouting and snatched the file of the bill from the hands of Agha Siraj Durrani, the provincial minister for the local bodies. Then they tore apart the copies of the bill.

The members of the treasury benches also stood up and started matching the loud voices of the opposition members amid the speaker repeated request to calm down.

The SPLG was drawn after marathon consultation between the ruling alliance of PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).The features of the new law were mainly inherited by the local body system of military dictator general Pervez Mushrraf (1998-2008) under his devolution plan.

Ddurrani offered the opposition an opportunity to bring in suggestions and amendments in the bill instead of creating rumpus in the house.

The PPP organized a rally last month to dispel the propaganda of the Sindhi nationalists and the opposition parties, which staged a series of shutter downs and strikes in different cities and towns of Sindh.

The public rally in support of the new law was attacked by some armed men who opened gunfire killing seven people and injuring 10 others in Khairpur, a northern district of Sindh province.

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