Fehmida Mirza writes to speaker Sindh Assembly on remarks of Provincial Minister Saeed Ghani

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister Dr. Fehmida Mirza in her letter to Agha Siraj Khan Durrani speaker Sindh Assembly, has termed the remarks of provincial minister of Sindh Mr. Saeed Ghani as unreasonable, false and unconstitutional, and a deliberate attempt to damage the credibility of a constitutional forum, i.e, CCI, and malign the Federal Minister. She has demanded to avoid the repetition of such practices.

She has recalled that on June 25, 2020, in the presence of the Chief Minister Sindh, Provincial Minister Sindh, Mr. Saeed Ghani on the floor of the Sindh Assembly, had alleged that Dr. Fehmida Mirza, former Speaker National Assembly and presently Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) submitted a tampered report to the Council of Common Interest (CCI).

She expressed her grave concern termed the views/comments of the Provincial Minister unconstitutional, baseless, having no nexus with reality and a deliberate attempt to damage the credibility of a constitutional forum i.e. CCI and malign the Federal Minister. She pointed out that in this context, it is not out of place to mention here that the National Institutions should not be held hostage to politics, and their supremacy and its sanctity should not be compromised.

She said Mr. Saeed Ghani has violated Rule 220, Sub-Rule 3 Para-d of the Rules of procedure of the Sindh Assembly by leveling baseless aforesaid allegations against the Federal Minister who is a public office holder and is unable to defend herself in the Sindh Assembly and was thus condemned unheard.

The Provincial Minister has committed default of Rule-5, Sub-Rule-9 read with schedule-3 Rule-4 of Rules of Procedure of the Council of Common Interest by breaching the confidentiality of its record. Furthermore, as per her, the factual position has been maliciously misrepresented.

She recalled that the CCI in its meeting held on September 24, 2018, had constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the Federal Minister for IPC on the devolution of the Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) and Workers Welfare Fund to the provinces. The Committee provided the opportunity of hearing to all the stakeholders, i.e., Provinces, representative bodies of employers and employees, and the Finance Division of the Government of Pakistan.

The subject report was prepared and the same was circulated to the members of the CCI prior to the 1st meeting on December 23, 2019. None of the members, especially the Chief Minister Sindh, on record to have raised any objection whatsoever to the said report. She said it is worth mentioning that the Members are entitled to vote either in favor or against the issue raised before the CCI, and Minister IPC has no overbearing executive role over its functioning.

She said she has had the privilege of working as the first elected woman speaker of the National Assembly, and her services and contributions towards the strengthening of democracy constitutional forums have been recognized and acknowledged nationally and internationally. Therefore, she would like to take this opportunity to request the Speaker of the Sindh assembly, who is not only the custodian of the House but also of its Rules, to ensure that in the future, such willful disregard of rules and irresponsible statements about the sanctity of the proceedings of a constitutional body is not repeated.

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