Nazim-led system for entire Sindh
By: Syed Irfan Raza and Shamim-ur-Rahman
ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: Apparently stunned by a severe reaction from nationalist parties in Sindh and its coalition partner, Awami National Party, to its decision to roll back the commissioner system in Karachi and Hyderabad, the PPP gave another twist to the situation late on Sunday night when one of its leaders announced that the old system of local government headed by nazims at various levels would now be introduced in the whole of Sindh province.
With a high-level meeting taking place at the Governor’s House to review the Saturday night’s decision, the provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Memon said the government had decided to introduce the 2001 system in the entire province after approving a proposal to that respect made by the PPP Sindh chapter.
In the federal capital, sources in the presidency told Dawn that the decision had been taken on a directive of President Asif Ali Zardari at a meeting held in the Chief Minister’s House that continued till late Sunday night.
The meeting was presided over by Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and attended by federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah, Minister for Water and Power Naveed Qamar, Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro and Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani.
Syed Khurshid Shah was to accompany Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on his visit to Saudi Arabia, but stayed back to finalise the plan to revive the LG system in the whole of province. The Sindh government is expected to issue an ordinance on Monday.
“The decision to restore the LG system in the entire province has been taken under the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari, who belongs to the same province, in view of the strong opposition by the ANP and some nationalist parties of Sindh to the reversal of the recently imposed commissioner system in Karachi and Hyderabad,” the source said.
It is learnt that President Zardari has convened a meeting of political parties of Sindh at the presidency on Monday to discuss the opposition to restoration of the LG system.
The Sindh government had on Saturday night issued two ordinances — Repeal of Sindh Local Government Ordinance and Repeal of Sindh Local Government Act, 1967 — to restore the LG system in Karachi and Hyderabad.
The ordinances were issued Â“for providing congenial atmosphere to promote peace and harmony in the province”.
The ordinance was issued after a meeting attended by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, PPP leader Babar Awan, Agha Siraj and Sindh Revenue Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar. The provincial law minister, chief secretary and commissioner Karachi also attended the meeting. Sources in the Chief Minister’s House said that after due deliberations the chief minister made the recommendation after which a meeting was called at the Governor’s House to discuss situation in the province.
Earlier, the CM held consultations with Khurshid Shah, Pir Mazharul Haq, Syed Naveed Qamar, Zulfikar Mirza and Sharjeel Memon and decided to plead with the president to order revival of LGO 2001 in the province.
Earlier in the day, President Zardari had summoned Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, Home Minister Manzoor Wassan, Law Minister Ayaz Soomro, Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah, Senior Minister Pir Mazharul Haq and Zulfikar Mirza for important discussions on the evolving situation.