City council rushes through 3 resolutions without Opp -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

City council rushes through 3 resolutions without Opp

KARACHI: The city council held a marathon session Wednesday and approved six resolutions within the span of an hour – three in the presence of the opposition and three after the opposition walked out.

The first resolution called for the government to announce immigration policies as soon as possible, so that the families of those who went missing after the Samjhauta Express blast could travel to Panipat, Delhi and Ambala as soon as possible to look for their relatives. It also called for the provision of travel expenses for deserving families.

Around 70 people died in the blast, while several are missing. The Indian government has agreed to provide visas within two hours. The Pakistan Passport Director General Sher Muhammad said, however, that he was waiting for a response from the government on any changes in immigration policies. The resolution put forth at the city council session was unanimously accepted.

Next in line was a resolution about some news reports that industrial waste from the Kotri Industrial Area was being dumped into the KB Feeder Canal. The canal in question provides water to the entire city of Karachi, and dumping industrial waste into it could lead to the spread of diseases, the resolution said.

It called for the Sindh government to look into the matter, and was unanimously accepted.

During a previous council session, a resolution (no. 78, dated September 18, 2007) about iodised salt was put forth. A committee had been formed to look into the matter. A resolution was passed during Wednesday’s session and the committee was allowed more time to research the issue and present a report.

At this point, opposition leader Saeed Ghani stood up and spoke at length about some issues in his union council in Jamshed Town, and those in some other UCs (in Jamshed Town). After each side had their fill of allegations and counter-allegations, during which city council convener Nasreen Jalil, repeatedly said that she would look into the matter in her chambers, the opposition decided to walk out and conduct a separate press conference.

A resolution put forward by the treasury benches was then tabled. It called for elevating the status of the city council to that of a “district assembly” and that of the naib nazim to “speaker assembly.” The resolution was accepted unanimously in the absence of opposition members.

The next resolution, put forth by Masood Mehmood and Asif Siddiqui of the ruling party, spoke against the restrictions put on people who could attest passport forms. A similar resolution was put in by Junaid Mukati of the opposition as well, but it was not taken up for discussion due to the absence of opposition members in the house.

Before the ban, any relevant officer could attest passport forms. New regulations, however, mandated that only specified gazetted officers could attest them. The resolution asked the federal interior ministry to lift the ban, and to allow people to have their forms attested by any relevant officer.

The last resolution of the day called for the provision of medical allowances to council members, as per the rules and regulations for allowances to all BS-17 officers. Some ruling party members, including Masood Mehmood, tried to have Jalil add a clause about the provision of residential plots as well. The convener decided, however, to go only with the clauses mentioned in the resolution. The resolution was unanimously passed and city council members would now get medical allowances as well.
Source: Daily Times
Date:2/22/2007