In an effort to pacify federal ministers from Sindh who are angry at the restoration of the 2001 local bodies’ system in the province, President Asif Ali Zardari has assured them that their grievances will be redressed once a new set of local government laws are tabled in the provincial legislature.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah assured the provincial lawmakers that the revival of the local government system was temporary and the situation would be redressed in consultation with all coalition partners.
“We had a candid discussion and apprised the president about the party workers’ reaction. The president briefed us about the situation which led to this development. He (Zardari) said he holds the party’s interest supreme and promised us that our reservations will be taken into account before finally approving the local government laws,” said a minister who attended the meeting. This meeting was followed by some more meetings on Thursday night. Zardari also met some of the ministers individually later.
Members of the PPP’s coalition allies – the ANP, the PML-Q and Pir Pagara’s PML-F from Sindh – have been voicing strong resentment on the deal PPP clinched with MQM through Senator Babar Awan.
Interestingly Babar Awan who is being censured for this deal was not invited in the meeting. Rehman Malik, however, took part in the meeting.
Others who attended it included Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Moula Bakhsh Chandio, Ghous Bux Khan Mahar, Syed Khursheed Shah, Asim Hussain, Naveed Qamar, and Firdous Ashiq Awan.
In Karachi, the Sindh chief minister said that the government had temporarily revived the local government system and the provincial government would either amend it or bring a new system altogether in consultation with all coalition partners.
“We want to bring the system, which will be acceptable to all parties and people of Sindh,” he said.
He was addressing a press conference at the Chief Minister’s House after presiding over the PPP’s Sindh Council meeting.
“Coalition partners, who have been talking over the issue for about eight to 10 months, agreed to either bring a new system or amend the one introduced in 2001, but MQM sought more time in this regard,” he said.
When asked about the government’s decision over the dual system in Karachi, Hyderabad and the rest of the province, he said: “We did not make any mistake,” he said.
When asked how the governor could issue the new ordinances when the assembly had passed bills on the same issue, he said: “The office of governor is also part of legislature and he can issue any ordinance on the advice of the chief minister,” he said, adding when the assembly “is not in session, the governor can issue an ordinance, which can later be tabled in the Sindh Assembly”.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ