KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly session on Monday witnessed chants and sloganeering by opposition MPAs, who were protesting against the PPP-led government for not taking up the critical issue of extending Rangers’ special powers in the province.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Functional (PML-F) demonstrated protest in the assembly. Sindh Education Minister Nisar Khuhro and Nusrat Sehar Abbas exchanged hot words over the issue.
However, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the party which has always expressed strong reservations over Karachi operation terming it part of ‘minus one formula’ did not participate in the protest.
The session was expected to resolve the matter of extending Rangers’ special powers in Sindh, which had expired on Dec 6, with the federal government and Sindh at odds over the matter.
The discussion regarding the extension of special police powers for Rangers’ was 11th on the day’s agenda. But speaker Agha Siraj Durrani had to adjourn the session after normal proceedings could not be held.
Importantly, no resolution was presented nor discussion held on the key issue of Rangers’ powers.
The opposition parties stated that the government put the resolution on eleventh number in the agenda on purpose. On the other hand, Chief Minister (CM) Qaim Ali Shah assured once again that there is no falling-out with the paramilitary force and the matter would be resolved soon.
While talking to the media outside the assembly, he said that minority could not dictate the majority in light of the democratic norms. The opposition violated the sanctity of the house, he added.
Opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly, Khawaja Izharul Hassan said that Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani barred him from addressing the participants. He could not talk to the members because he was not allowed to, he added.
Meanwhile, PTI chairman Imran Khan said that Rangers are not being granted extension in stay to cover corruption on part of several leaders. Had police in Karachi been efficient, Rangers were not needed, he added.
Separately, traders in Karachi have taken to streets to protest against the government as Rangers issue lingers. Leaders of the trading bodies have said that Karachi could not function without Rangers. Irked merchants protested in Sadar area.