Governor seeks details to check if today?s PA session was lawfully summoned

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Amid the growing controversy over summoning of the Sindh Assembly’s session on Wednesday (today), Sindh Governor Imran Ismail in an unprecedented move has sought details of the requisition for the session from the assembly secretariat in order to personally ascertain whether or not it has been lawfully convened.The Sindh Assembly is set to meet today at 2pm as Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Rehana Laghari summoned the session on a requisition submitted by lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).The requisition was submitted to the secretariat of the Sindh Assembly by the PPP MPAs on Monday soon after the arrest of former president and PPP Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad by the National Accountability Bureau.However, legislators of the opposition parties in the House, especially those belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, alleged that it was not a properly requisitioned session of the Sindh Assembly as the requisition initially submitted for the purpose did not contain the signatures of at least 42 members of the assembly, which was a constitutional requirement.The opposition MPAs said despite repeated attempts, the Sindh Assembly secretariat did not provide them a copy of the requisition submitted by the ruling party’s MPAs for summoning the session.They alleged that the media was deliberately kept away from the requisition submitted for the purpose as normally such documents were readily shared with media persons. The opposition lawmakers also questioned the summoning of the Sindh Assembly session on an emergency basis just two days before the regular budget session of the house.Governor’s letterIn this connection, a letter was sent on Tuesday by the Sindh governor’s principal secretary to the secretary of the Sindh Assembly, GM Umer Farooq.The letter read: “A summary for the approval of Governor was received from the office of the Chief Minister for summoning the session of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh, which is under consideration. However, through the press it has been learnt that the Speaker Sindh Assembly has requisitioned the session, invoking Clause (3) of Article 54 read with Article 127 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”The governor asked the Sindh Assembly secretary to provide him a copy of the requisition which should be signed by at least one-fourth members of the House, as required under the Article 54 read with Article 127 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.“The requisite copy therefore, may kindly be provided without any delay for perusal of the Governor Sindh,” the letter read.When contacted by The News, the Sindh Assembly secretary said the session of the provincial assembly had duly been summoned by the acting speaker who used her authority enshrined in the Constitution.Farooq asserted that the requisition contained the signatures of 50 lawmakers. He added that necessary information regarding the summoning of the session had been shared with the Governor House. However, he was of the view that it was not necessary as per the law to share the entire copy of the requisition with the Governor House.Provincial budgetThe provincial budget for the financial year 2019-20 would be presented in the Sindh Assembly of Friday, June 14 at 3pm. Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, who also also holds the portfolio of the Sindh finance department, would present the budget.