New local govt law: Opposition whips up crowd in Badin against PPP

Published: October 13, 2012
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Member of the Awami Tehreek protest against the new local government system in Sindh in Hyderabad on Friday. PHOTO: SHAHID ALI/EXPRESS

Member of the Awami Tehreek protest against the new local government system in Sindh in Hyderabad on Friday. PHOTO: SHAHID ALI/EXPRESS

Member of the Awami Tehreek protest against the new local government system in Sindh in Hyderabad on Friday. PHOTO: SHAHID ALI/EXPRESS Members of the Sindh National Party stage a protest demonstration against the new local government system. PHOTO: IRFAN ALI/EXPRESS
HYDERABAD: 

The ruling party may be making plans for a massive rally in support of its new local government law on Monday but the opposition is working hard to try and dent support.

Ton Sindh khappai, Zardari, was the text message circulating on Friday. You, President Zardari, have sold Sindh. This is a direct play on the president’s famous phase, ‘Pakistan khappay’ (We choose Pakistan).

In the face of opposition to the new Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance, 2012, the Pakistan Peoples Party has planned a public gathering in Hyderabad on October 15. Ahead of this, on Friday, the Sindh Bachayo Committee held a rally in Badin to persuade people not to go. It fears that the PPP wants to use its public meeting to try and give the impression that the public supports the new law.

The opposition and nationalist leaders went heavy on the emotion at the rally. “Today we have shaken the earth of Badin to stop the PPP from wishful thinking that Sindhis are fools and illiterate to be cheated so easily,” declared MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi of the Pakistan Muslim League-F to the crowd. “We should all wear black armbands and black clothes when the PPP holds this public meeting.”

She was one of the MPAs who led protests in the Sindh Assembly when it voted on SPLGO.

A disdainful Sindh Taraqi Pasand’s Dr Qadir Magsi said people would block all the important highways which pass through Badin, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tandojam on Monday. “Let the sanitary workers, government servants and a handful of traitors attend it,” he said, referring to the practice of protestors-for-hire.

Jalal Mehmood Shah of the Sindh United Party used the word “motherland” and the PML-N’s Ismail Rahu, who is the son of Fazil Rahu who was killed during the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy in 1987, criticised the PPP for what he said was coming to power through the Sindhi vote but now preparing to divide the province just to prolong its rule. “They are giving Sindh’s big cities to them,” he said referring to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. But it was not clear what he meant by this.

Indeed, the PPP has repeatedly said that the opposition has not properly understood the legislation. The law, which took four years of wrangling to devise, is a 293-page long document and lays out a complex system of metropolitan centres. Informed discussion and analysis has been scant and nationalist rhetoric has mostly played to the gallery. The legislation is beyond the understanding of the average citizen or resident of Sindh’s cities and towns. For whatever it is worth, the nationalists and their supporters set up reception camps on Thursday to try and explain the new law to people.

Peasant leader Azhar Jatoi said farmers did not vote for the PPP so that it can sell the “motherland”. “The hands which cultivate crops to feed humans can also squeeze the necks of their motherland’s enemies,” he warned. The PML-F’s Marvi Rashdi fell back on the use of the word “conspiracy”.

The rally was organized between the residence of PPP MPA Dr Sikandar Mandhro and the main office of former Sindh home minister, Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, and the National Assembly’s Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza. Police were deployed at both the ends.

Badin was decorated with party flags and opposition workers danced to folk songs at the rally. A majority of participants came from remote parts of the district which did not vote for any political or religious party in the elections. It was thought that no one would have the courage to organise an anti-PPP rally in Badin out of fear for the Mirzas but people openly shouted “Where is the lion of Sindh hiding?” to refer to him. Mirza became popular for his criticism of the MQM last year.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Sindhi
    Oct 13, 2012 - 6:49AM

    SPLGO bill was issued wid mala fide intentions as it only serves the interests of one party or community. To avoid division and conflict in Sindh between new and old Sindhis, PPP and MQM must have brought a system with open discussion in order to reach a win-win solution but on the basis of under the table deal, this bill was passed to favor MQM.
    As per this SPLG Bill Karachi was made one big city district govt consisting of all five old districts but what a justice Hyd was broken into four and only one district of Hyd was made metropolitan city. A CM can be impeached with simple majority but Mayor cant be removed without 2/3rd majority. Karachi is multi-ethnic city and it is already in grip of violence, giving magisterial powers is a big mistake, it will be a vehicle to target other parties and ethnic groups. This system will give nothing but more fissures and clash in society. All sane voice of Pakistan must come ahead to counter such anti-Sindh and anti Pakistan bill. Sindh should not be made conflict and violence prone zone. Injustice against Sindh will make her a new Baluchistan.

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  • Allah Rakha
    Oct 13, 2012 - 9:27AM

    @Sindhi:
    According to you those who live in Karachi whether they belong to MQM or PPP are not Sindhi and to give little bit so called autonomy to Mayor is considered the division of Sindh but to keep intact the commissioner British colonial system was based on divide and rule is fine for you that is not making any division between the rural and urban Sindh in your eyes it is ok to exploit the cities of Sindh and people of rural areas……….that is considered the loyalty with DHARTI MAA when people of Sindh are dying in floods and jobless ratio is getting higher day by day….Sorry to say you might like to live in the stone age but educated people of Sindh would never be your Hari and you cannot control them anymore from the strings of so called QOUM PARAST.

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  • Shayan
    Oct 13, 2012 - 4:57PM

    Second picture of this post sums up the support these people get in Karachi

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  • ali
    Oct 14, 2012 - 12:58AM

    @Allah Rakha:

    i support you 100 percent

    ali

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  • ali
    Oct 14, 2012 - 1:02AM

    little bit so called autonomy to Mayor is considered the division of Sindh but to keep intact the commissioner British colonial system was based on divide and rule is fine for you that is not making any division between the rural and urban Sindh in your eyes it is ok to exploit the cities of Sindh and people of rural areas……….that is considered the loyalty with DHARTI MAA when people of Sindh are dying in floods and jobless ratio is getting higher day by day….Sorry to say you might like to live in the stone age but educated people of Sindh would never be your Hari and you cannot control them anymore from the strings of so called QOUM PARAST

    Iqbal Allam

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  • chandioali
    Oct 15, 2012 - 2:50AM

    we support ppp new local goverment system

    chandio ali

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