Sindh LG system ordinance takes effect
KARACHI: An ordinance reviving the Local Government system of 2001 in the entire Sindh province, signed by Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan late on Sunday night, has come into force and shall be deemed to have taken effect from July 9.
The ordinance marks the demise of the controversial commissioner system which the PPP-led government claimed to have introduced to serve the people better.
Invoking clause (1) of Article 128 of the Constitution, two ordinances were issued by the Sindh governor in less than 24 hours on the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari after a strong resistance from nationalist parties and from within the Pakistan People’s Party to exempt Karachi and Hyderabad through earlier ordinances relating to the commissioner system.
The governor also signed the Repeal of Sindh Land Revenue (Amendment) Act, 2011, which shall be deemed to have taken effect on and from July 9.
All orders made and notifications issued and appointments made, acts done under the Sindh Land Revenue (Amendment) Act, 2011, shall be deemed to be in accordance with law.
On Saturday night, the 2001 local government system was revived in Karachi and Hyderabad to address the concerns of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, while in other parts of the province the commissioner system was to remain in force.
The decision was bitterly criticised as a step towards partition of the province.The Awami National Party condemned the move and asked its minister in the provincial cabinet to stay away from his office.
The nationalist parties described the government’s latest decision as a somersault which they said demonstrated its inability to take timely and enduring decisions.
They said the PPP’s policy of reconciliation was based on expediency and accused Interior Minister Rahman Malik and former law minister Babar Awan of causing an embarrassment to the government.
However, the chief of the Sindh chapter of ANP, Shahi Syed, praised the government’s decision to reintroduce the 2001 local government system in the entire province. He said revival of the system only in Karachi and Hyderabad was a deep-rooted conspiracy to divide Sindh on ethnic lines.
Mr Syed said Sindhi nationalists were justified in opposing the decision and the ANP fully supported their stance. But, he said, the new ordinance had been imposed in haste without considering its far-reaching political implications.
The Sindh National Party said the outdated system (local government) of dictator Pervez Musharraf was not acceptable.
SNP chief Ameer Bhanbro asked that if the system introduced by the dictator was so good why the government fooled the people earlier by replacing it with the commissioner system.
Jiye Sindh Tehrik President Dr Safdar Sarki said in a statement that 60 million people of the province had unanimously rejected the government’s decision on the local government had sent a strong message to the rulers that steps aimed at hurting the unity and territorial integrity of the province would not be accepted.