ANI Photo | Pakistan: Awais Qadir Shah from Pakistan Peoples Party elected as Sindh Assembly Speaker

Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) leader Awais Qadir Shah was elected as the Speaker of the Sindh Assembly on Sunday, The News International reported.
Shah was elected after securing 111 votes against 36 votes garnered by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) Sofia Saeed.
Speaker Shah was administered the oath by outgoing speaker Agha Siraj Durrani.
Following his win, Shah thanked PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur for their support.
Since the new speaker has taken the oath, following the election, he will now oversee the polling for the deputy speaker’s slot, as per The News International.
PPP’s Anthony Naveed and MQM-P’s Rashid Khan are eyeing the post and the papers of both candidates have been declared valid.
“It is an honour to be elected as the assembly’s speaker from Sukkur for the first time,” he said.
He also urged the lawmakers to forget the past and begin a new era, assuring to treat all the members equally.
“My only request is that if we follow the rule book, then God willing this house will function in the best way possible,” he added. He also expressed hope that the house would meet the expectations of the public.
As the session started today, about nine members of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and Jamat-e-Islami’s (JI) Muhammad Farooq, who did not attend the oath-taking ceremony yesterday, took an oath.
Speaker Durrani welcomed the newly elected members of the SIC.
Following this, PPP’s nominee for chief minister, Murad Ali Shah, said that 12 of their workers were killed during the election campaigns.
“Our leader Aziz Junejo, who won the elections, passed away. The assembly should pray for them,” said Shah, adding that our country is suffering from terrorism.
Earlier on Saturday, at least 148 newly-elected Sindh Assembly members took oath in the House of 168 as parties took to the streets to hold demonstrations against the alleged rigging in the February 8 polls.
The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and Muhajir Qaumi Movement (MQM-Haqiqi), had announced to hold a joint “peaceful” protest outside the assembly.
But, the situation turned tense before the swearing-in ceremony, as several workers, including women, clashed with the police party present there to keep the order.
Over 20 Qaumi Awami Tehreek workers, including women, were arrested and shifted to the police station during the clashes. The law enforcement officials also baton-charged the protestors.
The protests continued for hours and were called off after the police baton-charged and detained at least 30 protesters from near the Arts Council for staging a demonstration and raising slogans in the Red Zone area amid the imposition of Section-144, The News International reported.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Assembly also elected Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidates Malik Ahmed Khan and Malik Zaheer Ahmed Channer as the House’s speaker and deputy speaker, respectively on Saturday.

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