Having already resigned from the Sindh coalition government following the promulgation of the Sindh Peoples Government Ordinance, the Awami National Party (ANP) is yet to make a decision to leave the coalition in the centre and in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
However, the party issued a stern warning to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP): “We will not be a part of the ruling coalition if the government does not heed our demand,” ANP leader Senator Haji Adeel told The Express Tribune on Saturday.
He did not pinpoint a date for quitting but said, “We will see for a few days and will not hesitate to carry out our threat if the government does not change its stance.”
While its ally the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which is perceived as the principal proponent of the ordinance, has been appeased, the PPP now faces the task of assuaging the ANP, which is also a key ally for the ruling party in the centre and K-P. ANP has also decided to boycott proceedings of the National Assembly and Senate.
While explaining his party’s decision to quit only the coalition in Sindh, Haji Adeel said, “We have reservations regarding Sindh, therefore, we have quit the coalition government in the province.”
The ANP had quit the Sindh govt in reaction to the new local government ordinance.
The ordinance will set up metropolitan corporations in five divisions of Sindh, including Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Mirpurkhas and Larkana and district councils in the rest of Sindh – something that is not acceptable not only to the ANP, but the PPP’s other allies, the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and National Peoples Party (NPP).
Responding to a question whether the ANP would accept any offer from the government to enter into negotiations, Haji Adeel added, “We do not want to discuss details of the ordinance at this juncture. All we want from the government is to immediately withdraw it. The government did not bother to discuss the contours of the ordinance with its coalition partners,” he maintained.
Haji Adeel claimed the government had divided the Sindh into two parts at the MQM’s behest.
“This is the first attempt to divide Sindh,” he added. “They set up metropolitan corporations wherever they desired.”
When asked whether the ANP sought any clarification from the government prior to the promulgation of the ordinance, he said, “The president [Asif Ali Zardari] had assured us nothing wrong would happen.”
He explained that it seemed both the PPP and MQM wanted to decide the fate of Sindh, but “we cannot betray the province.”
Haji Adeel clarified that the PPP had made efforts to woo back the ANP, when Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah tried to contact him, but he was refused.
He said Shah had even invited Senator Shahi Syed for a meeting, but the offer was turned down.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2012.
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