New CM vows to keep Sindh safe, healthy

Murad Ali Shah takes oath after winning majority vote


Hafeez Tunio July 30, 2016
Qaim Ali Shah embraces new Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah after the oath-taking ceremony. PHOTO: APP

KARACHI: PPP stalwart Murad Ali Shah promised to make Sindh “safe, secure, healthy, wealthy and literate” after he was elected as the new provincial chief minister on Friday.

The ruling party’s nominee polled 88 votes in the 168-member legislative house with the largest opposition party, the MQM, abstaining from the vote.

Two PML-N legislators, who were previously associated with the PPP, also voted in favour of Murad. The Pir Pagara-led PML-F preferred to stay away from the election. While other parties did not put forward any candidates for the CM election, PTI’s nominee Khurram Sher Zaman received only three votes, that too from his own party lawmakers.

Four PPP lawmakers – Sharjeel Memon, Owais Muzaffar, Nadir Magsi and Ali Nawaz Shah – did not attend the session. Outgoing CM Qaim Ali Shah was the first one to vote.

After the assembly session, Murad went to the Governor House to take the oath of his office from Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad.



Promises

After the vote at the Sindh Assembly, the newly elected chief minister announced the top priorities of his government would be law and order, health services and education. He would induct a “small cabinet on merit” within two days.

“I will not avail a large security protocol that creates problems for commuters,” Murad said in his policy statement after his victory. “People’s power, people’s authority and people’s rule is my agenda.”

“I am focused and have clear targets to make Sindh safe, secure, healthy, wealthy and literate,” he said, inviting all Sindh Assembly members to “work together for a cleaner Karachi, a greener Thar and a safer Sindh.”

Murad said no sustainable progress could be achieved without peace. “The role of all law enforcement agencies, civil and military, is truly commendable. However, much more needs to be done,” he said, adding his focus would be to fight anyone and anything that threatened the security of Sindh and its people.

The new Sindh CM also stressed the need for healthcare, terming it a “basic right of every citizen”. Sindh is notorious for its dilapidated state of hospitals and health services.

“I want to see that every child is born healthy and every mother is strong enough to nurture her child,” he said. “I see this province where parents would have no difficulty in educating their children and the young would be able to receive quality education and job opportunities according to their abilities.”

Murad also termed education “the most important investment in our future”. “I assure this house we will reopen 6,000 ghost schools in Sindh and all teachers will have to come to work,” he said.

He urged everyone, from the lawmakers to the common people, to help the government work for a stronger and healthy Sindh. “Alone we may go fast, but together we will go far,” the CM quoted a famous African proverb to urge everyone to come forward to improve the situation.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2016.

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