Promulgation of Sindh LG ordinance stirs controversy
08 September, 2012
KARACHI: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Friday finally introduced the People's Local Government Ordinance, 2012, but could not make it public because of the strong reaction that came from their allied parties in Sindh and the nationalist parties of the province.
Showing their strong reaction to promulgation of the ordinance, allied parties of the PPP in Sindh, including the Asfandyar Wali-led Awami National Party (ANP), Pir Pagaro-led Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi led NPP announced parting ways with the government. Besides, a sitting minister of the Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain-led Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Shaharyar Maher, also tendered his resignation in protest. However, Haleem Aadil Shaikh, who is also adviser to the Sindh chief minister, termed Maher's resignation his personal decision.
The ANP's only minister in Sindh cabinet, Ameer Nawab, resigned from his ministry soon after his party strongly reacted against promulgation of the ordinance. Provincial ministers and advisers belonging to the PML-F also submitted their resignations to their party in protest.
PML-F and NPP were also among the political parties which announced their support to a strike call given by a nationalist alliance, the Save Sindh Committee, for September 13 across the province against promulgation of the ordinance.
All the parties opposing the ordinance consider the local government system introduced by the PPP and MQM a system for Karachi and different from the rest of the province, and another attempt to divide the province. "Sindh has been divided into parts through the dual system," said Murtaza Jatoi.
The ruling PPP has, however, rejected such apprehensions and said that the local government system introduced through the ordinance was not final, and it could be amended in the light of recommendations of other coalition partners. "It is not a final thing. It will be enforced after amendments," said the provincial Local Government Minister Siraj Durrani.
Talking to reporters, he said that political parties opposing the ordinance should first read it in detail. He did not disclose details of the ordinance, saying that it was in the process of printing. According to him, under the new local government system, five metropolitan governments would be established in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur and Larkana.
He said that the local governments to be set up under the new system would look after municipal functions, and would supervise police and revenue affairs. He said that commissioners would look after revenue and police matters. The minister said the new local government system would be brought in the Sindh Assembly for formal discussion.
However, the ANP, PML-Q and other parties' leaders who criticised the local government ordinance for Sindh were of the view that the ordinance was not a wise step and would promote further divisions and create problems in the province. They said they would continue their opposition to the ordinance as they did not want discrimination in the province and favoured a smooth system of governance across the province.