KARACHI: After a five-week break and dramatic political developments, the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) returned to the administrative fold on Sunday after a notification was issued, making it legal via the Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2011.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had bitterly wrangled over the commissionerate versus the local government systems. In swift developments on Saturday, Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan issued two ordinances, resulting in the revival of the 2001 local government system in Karachi and Hyderabad as well as the restoration of the previous delimitation of both districts. Thus, even though it was a public holiday, the municipal, works and services, health and enterprises and investment promotions department went back to work on Sunday and the town municipal administrations rolled up their sleeves for the monsoon rain preparation.
Soon after the announcement was made Saturday midnight that the local government system was making a comeback, CDGK officials and employees cheered and congratulated each other on the phone and via text message. The majority of SMSs carried prayers for the chief of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Altaf Hussain.
Not everyone was happy, however, with the changes. The Awami National Party, which has a small share in the Sindh Assembly, said it was not consulted on these changes which were made due to political expediencies. There were protests by some PPP workers in Hyderabad against the return of their district to the SLGO. A nationalist party announced a strike for Monday.
Meanwhile, now-former Commissioner of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, Altaf G Memon, who was the executive district officer (EDO) of the works and services department, told The Express Tribune that his position as the commissioner now stands null and void and he is back to his previous position.
The same goes for the Commissioner of Karachi, Muhammad Hussein Syed, who goes back to being the DCO. City Administrator Fazlur Rehman is also expected to resume office.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 8th, 2011.