PTI’s Soomro loses NA membership for long absence

Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
Thursday, Aug 11, 2022

ISLAMABAD: In a first in its constitutional history, the National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday deprived PTI member from Sindh interior, Muhammadmian Soomro, of his membership for his long absence from the House.

He lost the membership nine days before his 72nd birthday.

The NA action came under Article 46 (2) of the Constitution on a motion by PPP member Shahida Rehmani, pointing out Soomro’s absence for 40 consecutive days without prior intimation or leave. Soomro hails from Jacobabad. He was a federal minister in the PTI government until its ouster in April this year.

Well-placed political sources reminded The News that Soomro was among the four MNAs who had been absent for 40 consecutive days, the other three being Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Saleh Muhammad and Ghulam Muhammad Laali. As of August 2, none of the four was removed from the membership.

It would be interesting to watch if Imran Khan opted to contest from this lone vacant seat from interior Sindh, as he has announced to contest every by-election until the general election.

Soomro defeated his traditional political rival PPP’s Ejaz Khan Jahkrani from his native area in 2018 general elections. Jhakrani later returned in Sindh Assembly election and became minister for jails.

Soomro wrote to National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf last week that he was busy in the local bodies polls in his area, he could not attend the National Assembly for these long days due to health reasons. He requested for grant of leave but the House rejected his request on Wednesday.

Soomro is a professional banker and worked in important positions for major banks including Bank of America, general manager and chief executive officer of International Bank of Yemen, besides several Pakistani banks. He also served as President of the National Bank of Pakistan.

Soomro earned great recognition during his time with these organisations. He was also instrumental in the establishment of microcredit banking in Pakistan. He also held a position at the board of directors of foreign oil company in Pakistan. He served as the chairman of the Senate from 2003 to 2009, the caretaker prime minister of Pakistan from 2007 to 2008 and the acting president of Pakistan from August 18, 2008 to 9 September 9, 2008.