Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, on Tuesday said Pakistan Peoples Party had been converted into an anti-democracy party and it was at the verge of burial of democratic system.
Addressing a press conference here in Sindh Assembly Building he said the way Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) was conducting Sindh Assembly proceedings, it was undeniable evidence of Committal of democratic norms and traditions in the province where opposition parties were denied of their democratic rights and privileges specified under constitution and rules of business of the legislature.
Haleem Adil who is also Central Vice President PTI, said entrusting chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee to opposition leader was an important point of charter of democracy that was envisioned by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.
He said Syed Khursheed Shah and Shahbaz Sharif held the position in capacity of the then opposition leaders in National Assembly while Rana Tanveer Hussain of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz was incumbent head of the committee.
Contrary to agreed principal and practice at national level, PPP in Sindh not only declined opposition leader’s appointment as PAC head but also did not include even a single member from opposition benches in the committee having statuary role of parliamentary oversight and accountability, he complained
He asserted that the move was aimed at clearing under the carpet several audit objections amounting to over Rs.1400 billion by auditor general’s office.
“If you do not like to see Haleem Adil Sheikh chairing the PAC, name any other opposition legislator for the post or at least ensure opposition’s representation in the committee even as members,” Haleem remarked adding that PTI was not in quest of personal gains but intended to see the statuary forums work as per rule and regulations for benefit of the masses.
Moreover, rules also required proportional representation of all the parliamentary parties in standing committees and Bilawal Zardari, Sherry Rehman and other parliamentarian of opposition parties were designated chairpersons of different parliamentary committees in National Assembly and Senate but in Sindh Assembly all the standing committees lacking opposition’s representation, he noted.
“It demonstrates double standards of PPP leadership who boasts of democratic norms in the center but as soon as they land at Karachi airport their approach converts into authoritarian one that proves them remnants of Iskander Mirza and Ayoub Khan,” he remarked.
Abiding by the democratic traditions, PTI government provided opposition ample opportunities to participate in parliamentary proceedings including legislation and other business of national assembly and senate.
But, he said, opposition in Sindh assembly was continuously deprived of their constitutional rights and role, adding, even the Sindh opposition leader could not get floor.
Haleem Adil Sheikh recalled that he was not allowed to deliver his speech as leader of the opposition during budget session although it was mandatory and
budget was approved even without concluding speech of the finance minister.
During the ongoing session of the assembly agenda of joint opposition was put aside while their resolutions and adjournment motions were not being taken on the floor despite of their significant nature, he said.
Adil said calling attention notices on issues of public interest requiring immediate attention and privilege motions indicating deliberate negligence and inefficiency of government officers submitted by opposition benches were opposed and over ruled that tantamount to denial of their constitutional rights.
He argued that sanctity of the assembly and chair was being violated and role of opposition was being curtailed in Sindh Assembly by enforcing civilian dictatorship in the province.
“I will write a letter to President, Prime Minister, Speaker National Assembly, Chairman Senate and other stakeholders including civil society organizations to let them know about undemocratic attitude of self proclaimed champions of democracy and alarming situation prevailing in the province,” he said.
He requested media to play their role for upholding the sanctity of the august house.
Responding a question Haleem Adil Sheikh refuted the perception that PAS and PSP officers were transferred from the province on opposition leaders’ wish list.
He clarified, “There was not any ethnic or racial bias in the issue but it was matter of criminal governance as numerous officers were indulged in criminal and corrupt practices.”
He said under the rotation policy several officers who had served for a prolonged tenure in a province were transferred from all the federating units as well as federal capital in consultation with provincial chief secretaries.
PPP Sindh government was attempting to keep their blue eyed officers in the province who were accomplice of their criminal activities, he alleged adding that earlier the same Sindh government did not let several Sindhi officers to work in the province because they were not ready to become a part of their criminal and corrupt system.
On another query Haleem Adil Sheikh said opposition parties in the province were on the same page and united against the incapable PPP government but being a distinct political entity, every party had its own agenda and point of view as well. “Don’t you see whatever takes place within PDM,” he asked.
Responding another question on Nazim Jokhio murder case, Haleem Adil said widow of the murdered young man still wanted justice and PTI was determined to support her for dispensation of justice so that any other atrocious clan chief could not dare to assassinate any other Nazim.