KARACHI: Sindh Assembly descended into chaos Tuesday after PTI MPAs attacked three parliamentarians for 'switching sides' before the Senate elections.
On Monday, PTI's Khurram Sher Zaman claimed that three of his party’s MPAs have gone missing in Karachi. He said that they couldn't be contacted on their cellphones.
The three 'missing' members, Aslam Abro, Shehryar Shar, and Karim Baksh Gabol, came to the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday and marked their attendance. The three reportedly said that they will vote according to their 'conscience' during the Senate elections, which probably meant that they will vote in favour of the opposition coalition: the Pakistan Democratic Movement.
Shar entered the provincial assembly and PTI MPAs chanted slogans against him while PPP MPAs clapped for him. After Gabol walked to the attendance register, some MPAs ran towards him and pushed him. He fell and MPAs were seen kicking and punching him.
PPP MPAs reportedly tried to pacify the angry PTI MPAs. This caused the situation to escalate.
Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani left the assembly after asking the parliamentarians to go back to their seats repeatedly. He has taken notice and ordered an inquiry in the chaos.
Reports suggest that Gabol has been moved to a hotel on Sharae Faisal. He is expected to issue a video statement soon.
Another video surfaced in which Gabol was heard saying that he doesn't want to vote for the candidate of the Pakistan Peoples Party. He said that the PPP members are trying to kidnap him and forcing him to vote for their candidate. "I don't want to vote in their favour."
This is contrary to his video statement on Monday in which he categorically said that he will not vote for PTI's candidates in the Senate polls, which will be held on March 3.
He claimed that he has heard that the party has given tickets to people after receiving money, adding that his conscience doesn't allow him to vote for such candidates. He added that the PTI has failed to deliver on its promises.
PTI members have raised concerns over the way the party distributed the tickets, said PPP's Nasir Hussain Shah. PTI's disgruntled members approached us and said that they won't vote for their party.
“We don't know if Gabol's issue was planted or not," he remarked. What happened in the assembly is condemnable and this should not have happened. Gabol said that he wanted to go with his party members and no one stopped him, Shah added. "We believe in democracy and no one is being pressured in anyone.”
MPAs were pushed and scratched during the session, said PPP's Shehla Raza while speaking to the media. "We tried to stop them but they did not budge." All three members had come to us and we did not force anyone, she added.
This is the change that PTI wants to bring, said a PTI MPA while speaking outside the assembly. “They have kidnapped their own member,” she said.
The Election Commission should play its part and suspend the membership of all 30 PTI MPAs for this behaviour.
“We were all sitting and out of nowhere they started attacking Gabol," she said. "I don't understand what has he even done? He is my brother and I can't even imagine what he must be going through.” NNI