KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan has clarified the statement of the Sindh governor regarding “formation of a new province on administrative basis”, saying there is no need for a new province in Sindh.
“Sindh is and will remain intact,” said the prime minister while addressing the leaders of its coalition partner the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) at the Governor House on Friday.
The demand for carving out a new province in Sindh had always come from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. Recently, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail’s statement regarding formation of a new province on administrative basis drew condemnation from political parties as well as the civil society organisations.
Later, the Sindh governor backtracked from his statement, saying he had “not uttered such words to divide Sindh or create a new province”.
During the meeting, the GDA leaders drew the prime minister’s attention towards the issue. The delegation, led by Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi, said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government should clear its stance over the sensitive issue as all quarters were angry at the Sindh governor’s recent remarks. “People of Sindh can’t tolerate it,” said Rashdi.
In response, the prime minister said, “I know how it is a sensitive issue in Sindh. No one can dare divide Sindh. I assure you. The situation of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is totally different from Sindh where new provinces are being formed.”
Imran said the sense of deprivation prevailed in urban areas, which led to such a demand. “I believe that there should be a local government system along the pattern of K-P to empower the elected representatives of local bodies,” he said, adding that with an empowered LG system, the issues confronted by urban and rural areas would be resolved and no one would be able to come up with such demands in Sindh.
The meeting — attended by the Sindh governor and other senior PTI leaders — also discussed development schemes.
The members cried foul over political victimisation and lack of development work in their areas.
“Since the Pakistan Peoples Party government is unwilling to initiate development schemes in our constituencies, we suggest that the federal government provide funds so that we can start the development work,” said the members.
The prime minister assured them that he would look into the matter and provide more schemes for the rural areas of Sindh.
CM does not receive PM, again
During the prime minister’s entire visit, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah remained absent from all scheduled events and did not even go to receive Imran.
It is the second time that PM Imran was received only by the governor.
Sources in the Sindh government said the chief minister was not intimated about the PM’s programme which was why he opted to remain in his office.
“This is the second time that the CM was not invited to any programme; neither were we intimated about the PM’s schedule,” said sources in the CM House. “The official letter regarding the PM’s arrival stated ‘the governor will receive the PM’.”
Referring to the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, a senior CM House official said despite severe differences between the PPP and the PML-N, the then CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah used to receive former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The same practice was in place by the incumbent CM as he had received PM Imran during his earlier visits.
“This all has happened in the wake of tensions between the federal and provincial governments over various issues, especially the graft cases against the PPP leadership,” said the official.