148 newly-elected MPAs take oath as GDA, JUI-F stage protests against ‘rigging’

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148 newly-elected MPAs take oath

KARACHI: At least 148 newly-elected Sindh Assembly members took oath in the house of 168 on Saturday (today) as the session began with a delay amid high security.

The session commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran after which Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani administered the oath to members as they chanted slogans in the assembly.

The legislators will now elect the House’s speaker and deputy speaker later under the assembly rules.

However, four members did not take oath for different reasons including two senators who got elected on provincial seats.

Meanwhile, notification for Ameer Jamat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman was not issued after he announced he would be relinquishing his provincial assembly seat, PS-129, and a PPP leader Abdul Aziz Junejo, who was elected on PS-80, passed away.

Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, the police detained 10 workers including women of the Qaumi Awami Tehreek who staged protests outside the Sindh Assembly against the alleged rigging in the February 8 general elections. The law enforcement officials also baton-charged the protestors.

Newly-elected MPAs arrive to attend the Sindh Assembly inaugural session in Karachi on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Newly-elected MPAs arrive to attend the Sindh Assembly inaugural session in Karachi on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Police personnel arrive before Sindh Assembly inaugural session in Karachi on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Police personnel arrive before Sindh Assembly inaugural session in Karachi on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Containers are placed on different roads as a security measure ahead of Sindh Assembly inaugural session on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Containers are placed on different roads as a security measure ahead of Sindh Assembly inaugural session on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Containers are placed on different roads as a security measure ahead of Sindh Assembly inaugural session on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Containers are placed on different roads as a security measure ahead of Sindh Assembly inaugural session on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Containers are placed on different roads as a security measure ahead of Sindh Assembly inaugural session on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Containers are placed on different roads as a security measure ahead of Sindh Assembly inaugural session on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Police geared up for security ahead of Sindh Assembly inaugural session on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Police geared up for security ahead of Sindh Assembly inaugural session on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Police personnel stand guard for security ahead of Sindh Assembly inaugural session on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
Police personnel stand guard for security ahead of Sindh Assembly inaugural session on February 24, 2024. —Geo.tv/Saad bin Aziz Ahmed
The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), PTI and Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-Haqiqi), had announced to hold a joint “peaceful” protest outside the Sindh Assembly.

GDA Secretary Information Sardar Abdul Raheem said that their protest in Sindh was against stealing the people’s mandate, warning that the demonstrations would keep intensifying till their mandate was returned.

He said that a peaceful protest was their right and the government should avoid using force against them.

Caravans of various political parties coming from different parts of Sindh were stopped on the outskirts of the metropolis.

Sindh Assembly Protest
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Workers of political parties also staged protests near the Sindh Assembly with many detained and transferred to the police station. Several female workers also clashed with the police.

MQM-P nominates members for speaker, deputy speaker slots
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) MPA Syed Waseem said his party nominated Sofia Saeed for the speaker’s slot and Rashid Khan for deputy speaker. He said MQM-P wanted resolution of the province’s issues in coordination with other parties.

He said the political parties should do their party politics but should reduce people’s troubles.

The MQM-P leader said the ones who were defeated in the past levelled allegations of rigging. They should approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) if they had evidence of rigging as blocking roads would not benefit them, he said.

Issues to be resolved in collab with other parties
PPP’s CM nominee Murad Ali Shah said he had already told how many seats they would get. They secured victory on more seats than expected, he said.

Shah said Pakistan faced copious issues which would be resolved in collaboration with other parties.

Section 144 imposed
The Sindh government earlier imposed Section 144 in the south zone in anticipation of the protest by the political parties to prevent any harm to security and order.

“… the Government of Sindh, in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 144 (6) Cr.PC, hereby imposes a ban on public assembly, gatherings, protests, processions, and demonstrations in South Zone Karachi Division for 30 days with immediate effect,” stated the provincial government’s notification issued late Friday.

148 newly-elected MPAs take oath as GDA, JUI-F stage protests against rigging
It further notifies, “In pursuance of Section 195 (i) (a) Cr.PC, the S.H.Os of the concerned Police Station are hereby authorised to register complaints under Section 188 PPC in writing for the violation of Section 144 CrPC against the violators of this notification.”

Meanwhile, Sindh’s interior minister, Brigadier (Retired) Haris Nawaz, said Section 144 is now in effect in the area around the building of the provincial assembly; hence, no marches or protests can be held nearby.

Nawaz stressed that strict security measures have been taken to protect the area around the assembly to ensure a law and order situation. The interior minister issued a stern warning, saying that strict legal actions await those who disrupt peace or engage in unlawful activities.

“Any troublemakers will face consequences,” Nawaz declared, calling for cooperation between the public, the police, and other law enforcement agencies.

Traffic plan
On the other hand, the arteries leading to the Sindh Assembly were blocked by placing containers on them. The road leading to Burns Road from the Sindh Assembly was also blocked with containers.

The vehicular traffic coming from Fawwara Chowk, Sindh Club and Saddar was prevented from going towards M.R. Kiyani Chowk. Traffic police said traffic would be diverted from here towards Aiwan e Saddar and Khajoor Chowk. The traffic coming from I.I. Chundrigar Road will not be allowed to go towards M.R. Kiyani Chowk either and will be diverted towards Khajoor Chowk or Pakistan Chowk.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Asad Raza South said that the heavy police force had been deployed on Sharea Faisal for security and also around the Sindh Assembly.

He added that the road from Baloch Colony to Metropole was also partially closed.