Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has won the support of a family of old political rivals of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The sons of the late Syed Koral Ali Shah, who was the jails minister in Sindh in 1985, joined the PPP at a public meeting on Sunday in their hometown, Aarazi, in Sehwan.
The area falls in Jamshoro district which is the constituency of Sindh Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and MNA Nawab Ghani Talpur. It has been a political arena for the PPP and Awami Ittehad Party, headed by the former federal minister for water and power, Liaquat Ali Jatoi. But influential players such as the Koral family often play a decisive role in winning votes during the elections.
“My family and the people of the area were impressed by the flood fighting, relief and rehabilitation work done by Murad Ali Shah in the area,” said Syed Ghulam Hadi Shah, the former nazim of Channa union council in Sehwan, and now the chief of the Koral family. Shah’s family has been associated with the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional of Pir Pagara and Sindh United Party (SUP) of Jalal Mehmood Shah. However, the family left the SUP over a year ago and has been negotiating with the PPP since then.
The late Koral Ali Shah began his political career with the PPP but later went on to join Ziaul Haq’s government 1985. “Shah sahib was the first person to organise a public meeting for Shaheed Zulfikar Bhutto in Bhan Saeedabad taluka in the 1970s,” recalled Murad Ali Shah, who played a key role in bringing the Koral family into the fold of the PPP. “Our unity will shut the doors for outsiders who intrude in our area and gang up on the residents to vote for them,” he added.
At the rally, the chief minister focused his speech on the struggle and sacrifices of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. He allowed the finance minister to approve funds for the reconstruction of a pumping station at Danister Canal. The pump brought water from the Indus River to irrigate tens of thousands of acres of agricultural land and was destroyed in the floods.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 5th, 2012.