Gulzar Unnar’s solution to Sindh problems
KARACHI: A veteran lady parliamentarian of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Gulzar Unnar, has demanded that Sindh be given rights according to the 1935 Act, Pakistan Resolution and the constitution of General Yahya.
“Many of the province’s problems could be resolved and I think more than a hundred thousand people will find new sources of employment if Sindh is empowered to collect taxes under the 1935 Act, Pakistan Resolution and Yahya’s constitution,” she said in an interview with Daily Times at her residence. She said that she had raised the issue in the Sindh Assembly.
Ms Unnar is a law graduate and was entered politics when she was elected a member of the Khairpur local council in 1979 and member of the district council in 1983. As an independent candidate, she won a provincial assembly seat in the party-less elections of 1985 and then joined the PML-F. She was nominated for a reserved seat in the Sindh Assembly by her party this time round.
Asked what could be done about the law and order situation in Sindh, she said the posting of policemen in their home districts would help eradicate crime. “Announce amnesty for dacoits and punish those cops who patronize the criminals. Criminals seek asylum in katchi abadis and police do not raid these abadis. Therefore such abadis must be declared illegal and there should be no katchi abadis in any area,” she said.
Ms Unnar called upon the government, industrialists and multinational companies to hire 70% of their employees locally. “I am sure that if locals are recruited in the police and given jobs in factories and the province is allowed to collect taxes according to the proposed criteria, criminals will choose to earn their keep though legal channels,” she argued. She said Sindh had rich coal, oil and gas resources.
About women’s rights, Ms Unnar said as an MPA in the provincial council of Majlis-e-Shoora, she had established primary and middle schools in the Sindh interior. “Now I shall press the assembly to draft legislation giving equal wages to women, banning forced marriages and improving the supply of water.”
The PML-F MPA said feudals often do not allow their women to get married so their property can stay in the family, and many force their women into marriages of reciprocity. She said rural women work harder than women in cities, because apart from caring for their children and husbands, they have to work in the fields. “In return, these women peasants get half men’s wages.” She added that the women had to travel miles to get clean water. To another question, Ms Unnar said novice MPAs needed to study parliament rules of procedure. “There must be an end to opposition for opposition’s sake. Treasury benches wholeheartedly backed the NFC Award resolution, and opposition members should not forget that we have been in government for only one month, and no government can solve everything in one month.”
She said the Sindh Assembly speaker had allowed opposition MPAs more time, but the opposition accused him of being partial. “It is totally unfair. The opposition should join hands with the government for the solution of problems, rather than conducting a dishonest media campaign,” she said.
Ms Unnar praised Pir Pagaro, the PML-F chief, and his family for “sacrifices for Sindh and Pakistan”. “His father resisted British rule and his Hur Force defends the borders now.” She said she had joined the PML-F because “Pagaro believes in principled and clean politics”. —Irfan Ali