Controversy over LG law

Published: October 3, 2012
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Local Government Ordinance can succeed only in an environment of harmony and cooperation between all political forces.

Local Government Ordinance can succeed only in an environment of harmony and cooperation between all political forces.

Amidst a great deal of angry debate and occasional scenes of violent protests, the Sindh Assembly has finally passed the Sindh Local Government Ordinance, which has been a subject of controversy for months. Under the law, mayors will control city governments as they did under the local government law passed by the Musharraf govenrment. All other provinces have abandoned this system, reverting to control by bureaucrats.

This has been an issue, which almost tore the PPP and the MQM apart. The MQM strongly favours the system in place now, since it allows it a hold over urban centres of the province. The PPP had eventually relented to the MQM’s demands on this matter causing something of a surprise among most other parties in Sindh and also a number of PPP members themselves. These same members joined in the protest staged in the Sindh Assembly by various parties, which included the PML-F, the PML-Q and the ANP. The degree of turmoil caused by the passage of the ordinance is not a good sign. Already the nationalist parties in Sindh have staged a strike over the issue. The Local Government Ordinance can succeed only in an environment of harmony and cooperation between all political forces. The system put in place in Sindh does act, in some ways at least, to empower people and grant them a say in their own affairs. To a great extent, this power is far more than was ever available to them under the colonial district commissioner system. However, bulldozing key legislation through the assembly is never a good idea. Building up consensus always makes better sense and works in favour of the people.

This controversy could hurt the people of Sindh in the longer run. It could also create greater dichotomy at a time when we need parties, particularly in the strife-hit city of Karachi, to cooperate with one another. The disagreement bordering on chaos that we saw in the Sindh Assembly will not help this at all. It is to be seen if the new law will do any good or simply create more conflicts.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Mudassir Hussain
    Oct 4, 2012 - 1:24AM

    The local government system is the real spirit of democracy and opposing this system is, in fact, opposing the democracy.
    The LG system was the real essence of democracy and its opponents were against democracy. the need of the hour to use the local government system in the larger interest of the public and for determining new ways of making progress…..

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  • Raja Islam
    Oct 4, 2012 - 2:09AM

    It may be the essense of democracy where the city governments are elected in a fair and free manner and not through coercion, threat and intimidation.

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  • Rahim ALi
    Oct 4, 2012 - 5:33AM

    bring back mustafa kamal and khi will be back to his own feet

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  • Oct 4, 2012 - 9:16AM

    a new chapter of progress should start with the passing of local government ordinance.
    the first step to support democratic system is local government system.
    Thanks Altaf bhai to give us a platform to voice our raise and establishing of SINDH, PAKISTAN with local government system… HATS OFF ALTAF BHAI… WELDONE…

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  • Oct 4, 2012 - 11:20AM

    it was the need to of the hour to use the local government system in the larger interest of the public and for determining new ways of making progress. A new leaf should be turned over, and a new chapter of progress and development should begin by ending uncalled-for opposition of the local government system.
    Hats Off Altaf bhai to create awareness in public (Local Government System Is the First Step to Support Democracy)

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  • Oct 4, 2012 - 11:36AM

    Hats Off Altaf bhai for public awareness of local govt system

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  • mqmunit146
    Oct 4, 2012 - 3:14PM

    The Controversy Is Just A Political Point Scoring No One Is Opposing Local Government System In Principals But Having Objections Because It Initiated By MQM Nobody I Insists Nobody Referring Any Clause Which Can Be Controversial Or Against Sindh It Is Not A Controversy Against Local Government System But It Is A Controversy Against The Deprived People Of The Province They Scare To Give Powers To The People Whose Interests Are Directly Related To This System People Should Understand This Is The Only System Across The Globe Which Is Practicing To Serve People MNAs MPAs Are Basically Meant For Legislations Not For Infrastructural Routine Development What We Expect A Legislator Managing Our Main Holes Cover Or Arrange Kundi Men For The People, It Is Very Sad If Our Honorable Legislators Showing This Much Immaturity On The Issue And Trying To Make It Controversial.

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  • Aftab Ahmad
    Oct 4, 2012 - 4:01PM

    @Mudassir Hussain:
    well there is no opposition to the local government system at all. the protests and opposition is towards “dual” two local governement systems in Sindh province. It is a Shame that there are two local government systems in the “one” province of Sindh.

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  • DevilHunterX
    Oct 4, 2012 - 4:19PM

    Bring back Naimatullah Khan! No corrupt mayors please.

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  • hassan
    Oct 4, 2012 - 9:01PM

    Developing countries like Pakistan have been disadvantaged by the fact that they face rapidly changing demographics and settlement patterns, which their local systems have been unable to manage as they were devised for a different time. The sensibility that developed countries have about the need to upgrade and improve local systems is not realised and/or appreciated in such countries.

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  • Mudassir Hussain
    Oct 4, 2012 - 11:58PM

    @Aftab Ahmad:
    There is no dual Local body system same for all over Sindh so I congrats to people of Sindh dharti for passed the #SPLGORecommend

  • Mudassir Hussain
    Oct 5, 2012 - 12:00AM

    @DevilHunterX:
    I Like Naimatullah Khan Individually but sorry to say Mustufa Kamal is the 2nd Best Mayor of the World’s Big Cities………….Recommend

  • aftab
    Oct 5, 2012 - 12:57PM

    @Mudassir Hussain:
    Have you read SPLGO and understood completely? SPLGO is dual systems of local government in Sindh. For instance, Karachi with approx population 18 million people have been made one metropolitan by merging five districts all together. The Kacrachi mayor would control all five districts; on other hand Hyderabad district with approximate population of 1.5 million people has been divided into several districts i.e. Matiyari, Tando Modh Khan and Tando Allahyar, (cleverly with bad intention to manipulate the electorate constituencies as well as electorate votes of rural and urban areas). There are hundreds of evidences and examples of ‘duality” of SPLGO in its nature. But important are accumulations of financial resources by Karachi metropolitan and its mayor would by jointly chosen or selected by all five districts together (18 towns), whereas Hyderabad’s Mayor would be chosen or selected only by ONE district Hyderabad excluding Matiyari, Tando Mohd Khan and Tando Allahyar.

    Do you know that Sindhi Students are banned in Karachi to get admission / education in colleges and universities of Karachi? This is racial based division of Sindh, which would be further strengthened and promoted through SPLGO? So if you want racial division of Sindh than congratulation to you and MQM!

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