Sindh's MPAs Take Oath In Three Languages

Sindh Assembly Speaker Durrani urges protesters to take up grievances with the designated election tribunals instead of protesting against the assembly in the streets

Sindh's MPAs Take Oath In Three Languages

Around 147 elected members of the Sindh Assembly took their oath as lawmakers in three languages on Saturday, even as the opposition members of the Grand Democratic Alliance and the Jamaat-e-Islami boycotted the session and staged street protests in different areas of Karachi.

On Saturday morning, the Sindh Assembly doors opened for the first time in six months to welcome the newly elected members. 

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has secured 114 seats in the house, including 20 reserved seats for women and six seats for minorities. Newly elected party members, including Sindh Chief Minister-elect Murad Ali Shah, Faryal Talpur, former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, and senior provincial members including Sharjeel Inam Memon, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, were among those who took the oath. 

The 36 elected members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) were also present.

PPP stalwarts and former prominent members of the provincial assembly, including MPA-elect Senator Nisar Ahmed Khuro, Ghous Bux Mahar, and Manzoor Wassan, among others, sat in the visitor's gallery.

At the beginning of the session, Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani welcomed the newly elected lawmakers to the house. He remarked that there were some new faces in the crowd as well. 

He made specially mentioned Faryal Talpur and hoped she would offer guidance and play her role in the house. He mentioned how she had suffered in the past assembly, facing late-night arrest and spending months in jail.

Durrani addressed those protesting the elections outside the assembly and shared his views about them.

"I am told some people are protesting against the Sindh Assembly. This is the assembly which formed Pakistan," he reminded while subtly expressing his anger at the protesters.

"We will not allow you to degrade the house," he said, adding that the people of Sindh had rejected those protesting, noting they were not welcome in the house. He warned that if the protesters and those candidates who had lost the elections try to force themselves into the house, they will be thrown out. 

"We will not tolerate you," he added, noting, "The people of Sindh are with us."

He said that all of them exist because Pakistan exists, and if there is no Sindh, there will be no Pakistan.

Later, he administered the oath to the newly elected members of the house. The oath was first administered in three languages including first in Sindhi, then in Urdu, and lastly in English.

Candidates for new speaker

After the oath-taking ceremony and MPA roll call were completed, the process of receiving nomination papers for the speaker and deputy speaker of the assembly commenced.

The PPP has nominated Awais Shah and reserved a seat for non-Muslim member Anthony Naveed for the post of speaker and deputy speaker, respectively.

Similarly, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement has nominated Sofia Shah and Rashid Shah as speaker and deputy speaker, respectively.


Several members of opposition parties, including Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), staged protests in the city on Saturday against what they termed was widespread rigging in the elections.

GDA and JI members also refused to participate in Saturday's assembly session to take their oath.

Instead, they took to the streets to stage protests at Nursery and Karsaz on Shahrah-e-Faisal, causing a miles-long traffic jam on the city's main artery. Protests were also staged outside the Sindh Assembly. The government had set up containers to close all routes leading to the assembly. At the same time, Section 144 was imposed in the red zone around the assembly to prevent protests.

A group of around 20 GDA members, comprising men and women, managed to enter the red zone and staged a protest outside the provincial assembly. Police acted swiftly to arrest them.

Later, protesters of the GDA, PTI and the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-H) gathered outside the press club to stage a protest.

Earlier, as they arrived at the assembly, PPP's candidate for Sindh chief minister, Murad Ali Shah, said that everyone has a right to protest, but he expects they would not take the law into their own hands. He added that instead of gaining seats through illegal means, Shah said they had instead lost some seats compared to the 90-95 seats he predicted the party would be able to bag in the elections.

Former senior provincial minister Sharjeel Memon said that the country is facing extreme challenges today and that they all must work together to address these challenges.

"Our approach has been that no matter what anyone says, we will extend a hand of friendship towards them in return," Memon said, repeating instructions of PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.