After days of bickering between members of the Sindh Assembly, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has had enough. He apologised on behalf of the treasury for the mudslinging that has been going on for the past few days.
Addressing the Sindh Assembly session on Sunday, he said that the environment in the assembly has been spoiled. If people beat you, that doesn’t mean you should abuse them, he said.
Recently, PPP’s Sohail Anwar Siyal opened up old wounds when he said Sindh gave Mohajirs “grain” and land when they migrated after Partition. “They are fanning racism by saying that they are raising the people of Sindh,” he said, responding to remarks made to the MQM’s Muhammad Hussain who said the PPP was responsible for the disintegration of Pakistan, the 1981 hijacking of a PIA aircraft and the 1990 Pacca Qilla operation in Hyderabad.
Tempers rose with every passing day, said Shah. He said he recently met Leader of the Opposition Firdous Shamim Naqvi, who agreed that something needs to be done.
“I have told our members to look at our leadership,” said the chief minister. “Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s maturity’s is being lauded around the world. Take guidance from him, not others,” he urged.
He said that Naqvi’s guidance was coming from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto too. “Becoming Bhutto is very difficult and the opposition should try it too,” said Shah. He said Bhutto was an ideology, which is why they are all Bhutto.
He apologised on behalf of the treasury and thanked PTI leader Haleem Adil Sheikh for his apology. We will try to improve the environment in the assembly, he said. “Speaking loudly…we think that the numbers will go up if we badmouth people in the budget speeches. This isn’t true,” he said.
The people who make jokes and other comments will get their 15 minutes of fame on social media but after that, the ones who said intelligent things will be remembered, said the chief minister.
I will have to talk about other provinces from time to time to use them as a comparison, he said apologetically. Comparisons are often made between Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the PTI has been in power for the past two terms.
“We are all fortunate,” said Shah. “Sindh is the only province where every language in Pakistan is spoken.”
He said the people of Sindh love wholeheartedly. I too am a migrant, said the chief minister, pointing out that Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani was one too. “We did our part in Sindh and became Sindhis. We want you to also own Sindh,” he urged the members of the opposition.
Gesturing to Naqvi, Shah said, “I am weak [at Sindhi] but I will find you a good teacher to teach you the language”. He laughingly said that the leader of the opposition’s desire to learn Sindhi should have begun 50 years ago, not when he was elected to the Sindh Assembly.
Explaining why members of the assembly are fortunate, he said that there have been 101 speeches in the Sindh Assembly since the new term began.
Leaders of the opposition are granted time to speak, he said, unlike in other assemblies. He spoke about meeting a senator recently, who was shocked that the opposition was granted so much time to speak.