‘Opposition’ Muttahida MPAs set to slam PPP govt over law and order
KARACHI: The Pakistan People’s Party-led government, which so far had smooth sailing in the Sindh Assembly, will find itself isolated after the allotment of opposition benches to the 51 Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmakers when the house resumes business after a four-day break on Wednesday.
Although the PPP, with a strength of 96 members in a 168-strong house, does not need support from any group to get routine legislation and other business through, on the issue of targeted killings and law and order, it would be facing a tough time as the tiny opposition of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, PML-Q, PML-L, National People’s Party and the Awami National Party would get a boost after the 51 vocal and articulate lawmakers join it.
The order of the day though does not include any privilege or adjournment motion, new members Syed Murad Ali Shah and Sadiq Memon of the PPP, elected in the by-election from the Thatta and Jamshoro constituencies on Monday, would be administered the oath if their notifications were received by the assembly from the election commission.
The business on the agenda for the day has the question hour on the law department.
Besides, there are five bills — The Hyderabad Institute of Arts, Science and Technology Bill, 2013; Sindh Arms Bill, 2013; The Qalandar Shahbaz University of Modern Sciences Bill, 2013; The Sindh Higher Education Commission Bill, 2013, and the Sindh Revenue Board Amendment Bill, 2012 — and the presentation of a report of the standing committee on law and parliamentary affairs.
However, discussion on law and order cannot be ruled out if the chair allowed any opposition member to take it up through a point of order with reference to the killing of the Machine Tool Factory managing director.
The Quetta tragedy, in which over 90 people including women and children were killed, and related issues are also likely to cause uproar in the house.
The opposition, which was earlier a small group led by the PML-F, never gave the ruling coalition government a free hand on such issues. But the MQM members on the opposition benches could really take their erstwhile colleagues to task on sensitive issues such as the law and order situation.
However, observers say the PPP lawmakers would try to fuel the differences over the slot of leader of the opposition between the PML-F-led group and the MQM to blunt their attack against the PPP.
It is yet to be seen how well the opposition plays its card at the fag end of the present assembly tenure against the PPP government, which despite parting of ways by all its colleagues, still commands a comfortable majority to carry out house business, analysts say.
Meanwhile, the PPP parliamentary party met at the Chief Minister’s House on Tuesday night to sort out its strategy for Wednesday’s session. The MQM and the PML-F-led group will have their separate meetings in their chambers on Wednesday morning before the assembly session.