PPP decides to replace Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah

Published: July 25, 2016
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Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI: The Pakistan Peoples Party decided on Sunday to remove the octogenarian chief minister of Sindh, Qaim Ali Shah, and reshuffle the provincial  cabinet, in a move that didn’t come as a surprise given a guessing game in the media about a possible change in the provincial administration.

The decision was taken at a meeting co-chaired by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in Dubai. Attendees included Chief Minister Shah, Senior Minister Murad Ali Shah, Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab former federal interior minister Rehman Malik, MNA Faryal Talpur and ex-secretary general of the party Latif Khosa.

Rangers not to act without CM’s consent

“Today, the PPP decided to make changes in the Sindh cabinet, including bringing in a new chief minister,” PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar said in a statement issued after the Dubai meeting.

“The decision to change the chief minister was made by Bilawal, not Zardari,” former PPP secretary general Latif Khosa added. “The PPP chairman took the decision after reviewing the overall situation in the province and discussing the matter with all party leaders.”

Khosa said the provincial cabinet would be reshuffled after intra-party consultations. Babar added that Bilawal was expected to return to Karachi this week to meet party leaders and legislators before finalising changes in the cabinet.

While the party did not cite any reasons for the removal of the chief minister, sources say Qaim had a soft corner for the Rangers and was in favour of extending policing powers of the paramilitary force in the province.

Recently, when the policing powers for Rangers expired, Qaim had attempted to convince the party’s leadership (Zardari) to grant an extension in the powers for the sake of peace in Karachi; however, it seemed to have not gone down well.

Who will replace Qaim Ali Shah as PPP chief for Sindh?

“Four days ago, Zardari telephoned him [Qaim], and the chief minister looked perturbed since then,” sources in the Chief Minister House said, adding that after the call, Qaim told his personal staff that his days in the Chief Minister House were numbered.

This was Qaim’s third tenure as chief minister. He spent nearly 10 years in the office, the longest period among his peers. He, however, faced scathing criticism during his past two tenures with allegations ranging from bad governance to incompetence in handling various governmental issues.

Since the party has a simple majority in the Sindh Assembly, it can easily elect a new leader of the house. It has 92 legislators, followed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement with 51 MPAs, PML-Functional 11, PML-N 10 and PTI has three members.

“The PPP does not need any party’s support since it has the majority to elect a new leader of the house who will become the chief minister,” Secretery Sindh Assembly GM Umar Farooq told The Express Tribune.

Sources say the party is expected to convene a meeting on Tuesday in Karachi where Qaim will formally tender his resignation, and the party will announce his replacement.

CM Sindh approves cabinet reshuffle

A few names are already making rounds in the political circles for the coveted post. Murad Ali Shah, a senior minister for finance, energy, planning and development, is said to be a strong candidate for the slot. Other contenders include senior minister for education and literacy, and parliamentary affairs Nisar Khuhro, minister for mines and mineral development Manzoor Wasan, home minister Sohail Anwar Siyal and Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani.

However, party sources have dismissed these names as speculation.

Rangers policing powers

The Dubai meeting also discussed matters pertaining to governance and law and order in the province, especially the burning issue of extending the policing powers of the Rangers.

The party decided in principle to extend the policing powers of Rangers but only in Karachi. Further deliberations on the length of the tenure for the powers and other associated conditions for them are still continuing.

“Once again, the PPP wants to frame some conditions barring the forces from taking actions in some places,” said a PPP leader who was familiar with proceedings of the Dubai meeting.

“The Rangers will be given full powers, as they have been enjoying since 2013. But after recent developments, it has not yet confirmed whether they will be given through a notification or a resolution of the Sindh Assembly,” a PPP source said.

Earlier, Khosa told a press conference that the issue of Rangers’ policing powers will be resolved for the sake of law and order in Karachi.

“It is the chief minister’s powers to call Rangers in the province and give them special powers,” he said explaining that the paramilitary force was called in under Article 147 to assist the police.

He added that special policing powers were granted to the Rangers under the Anti-Terrorism Act, which has now expired.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Javaid Randhawa
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:09AM

    Finally firaun era chief minister is leaving. Now new chief minister will work with full energy to take care of zardari intetests. And the country…..jai bhar meinRecommend

  • Raisani
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:12AM

    There will be no change in policy or on ground as all these are mere puppets. Their Master living in Dubai and London will be ruling again. Recommend

  • Asim Khan
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:23AM

    I fail to understand how can a political party have party meetings on deciding the fate our our city, province and country sitting outside Pakistan. Yes MQM does it, PPP also does it. My question is when will we the citizens of Pakistan object to this kind of behavior by our politicians Recommend

  • Rehmat Ali
    Jul 25, 2016 - 10:59AM

    On of the worst performer Sindh CM. What grew in his tenure?Killings,ransoms,Kidnappings.Karachi turned into garbage city.Damaged roads,Tree cuttings.Is this out come of so called democracy?
    At last rangers took over ! Recommend

  • tak
    Jul 25, 2016 - 11:37AM

    its us who is to be blamed for not standing up to such a cm. he destroyed karachi. we are not sincere to this city. hope PPP realizes and if they cant do good they dont do further bad. Recommend

  • Waseem Ch
    Jul 25, 2016 - 2:01PM

    PPP is a curse upon the people of Pakistan and particularly the people of Sindh (the poor souls who have to suffer under this corrupt and incompetent party of thugs, thieves, hypocrites)Recommend

  • Rehmat Ali
    Jul 26, 2016 - 7:57AM

    Current political system totally failed in Pakistan. No matter 100 elections are held in Pakistan. Same people get elected again and again.
    Out come of this can be seen,lack of law and order,poor governance, Education,health,corrouption at large,Less job opportunities for Pakistanis in Pakistan and abroad. Almost all system Collapsed. Pakistan become importer country.Now our compettitor is Bangladesh, Not India!Recommend

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