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MPAs demand diplomatic enclaves in Karachi.

KARACHI -- Despite three attempts, the ruling party could not complete quorum in Sindh Assembly on Friday, which compelled Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani to adjourn the session till Monday. It was the second sitting in a week when the proceedings of assembly could not begin due to lack of quorum. It showed that MPAs from ruling and opposition parties were not interested in the session despite receiving huge salaries and funds.

The session started at 10am with the members reciting Fateha and condemning the attack on the Chinese Consulate. However, when the speaker started the question answer session, a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member stood up and drew the speaker's attention to the quorum. 'There are not sufficient members to run the session,' he said.

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The Speaker's staff counted 39 members in the House which comprises total 168 members. According to the rules, at least 42 members (one-fourth of the house), must be present in order to complete quorum. Taking notice of this, the Speaker adjourned the session for five minutes. When he returned, the quorum was still not complete and interestingly opposition members were also not present in the House.

On the request of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Chawla, the Speaker adjourned the session for another ten minutes. Yet, even after ten minutes only 38 members from the government were present in the House, which promoted the Speaker to adjourn the session till Monday. 'We have intimated the government that it cannot run the session without our presence. It was private members day last Tuesday when the Speaker unnecessarily adjourned the session and deferred our resolutions and bills. They should know that the government cannot complete the quorum,' said one of the opposition MPAs.

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Diplomatic Enclave

While condemning the attack on the Chinese Consulate, lawmakers in the Sindh Assembly suggested a 'diplomatic enclave' in Karachi where all consulates could be shifted for security reasons.

The idea was floated by PTI MPA Dr Seema Zia soon after the session started with Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in chair. 'This is a very sensitive issue. Not only in Pakistan, but embassies and consulates are located in enclaves all over the world. We should follow this in Karachi too,' she said. During the session, members form different political parties condemned the attack and prayed for the police personnel and citizens who lost their lives in the attack.

The agenda for Friday included a discussion on adjournment motion moved by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) MPA Kanwar Naveed Jameel on the water crises of Karachi, the question answers of health departments, call attention notices on public interest issues, another adjournment motion moved by Khawaja Izharul Hasan regarding installation of sub-standard CCTV camera for prevention of street crime in Karachi. All these were however deferred as the session was adjourned for want of quorum.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Nov 24, 2018
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