KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah visited Kingri House on Thursday and reportedly apologised to the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional Pir Pagara Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi for the remarks passed by provincial information minister Shazia Marri against Shah Mardan Shah (the late Pir Pagara VII). The PML-F had threatened to walk out of the coalition government in Sindh if leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party did not apologise.
“I clarified [Marri’s] statement, [but] came here to invite the PML-F to the public gathering that the Pakistan Peoples Party will organise in Ghotki on Saturday,” said the chief minister.
Shazia Marri had called the late Pir Pagara VII a “GHQ agent” and criticised him outside the Sindh Assembly building on April 27.
When asked about the PML-F’s demand for an apology, Qaim Ali Shah said “Shazia Marri had already apologised for her remarks. There is no more confusion between the two parties over the issue.”
Shah reiterated the government’s stance that only criminals were targeted in Lyari and that no operation had taken place in the area. “A majority of the people [of Lyari] are still with the PPP. We can hold a big gathering in the area whenever it is needed.”
While commenting on Mumtaz Bhutto’s decision to merge his party with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Shah said that the two leaders would be unable to win a single parliamentary seat from Sindh. “The people who are joining PML-N failed to deliver whenever they came to power. The people of Sindh rejected them in the last election too.”
PML-F leader Pir Pagara said on the occasion that his party would support the PPP’s candidate for premiership, in case Yousaf Raza Gilan was removed from his current post. “We will also extend our full support to the PPP during the by-polls in Sanghar.” The seat fell vacant after provincial minister Abdul Salam Thaheem died on April 22.
PML-F Sindh general secretary Imtiaz Shaikh said that all cabinet members of his party would resume their duties and MPAs would end their boycott of the Sindh Assembly sessions.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th, 2012.