Censuring the Pakistan Peoples Party for retracting the Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement has said that the PPP is once again trying to create rifts between Sindhis and Urdu-speaking people.
According to a press statement issued by the party after a meeting of the Coordination Committee held in both Karachi and London, the leaders said that the government has brought back the 1979 system of local bodies which was introduced by military dictator General Ziaul Haq. “The PPP has taken back the system which it had made on its own, and has gone back to the one which was introduced by the dictator who was responsible for Bhutto’s execution.”
Terming it a “black law”, MQM said that the SPLGO was passed after days of discussions and consultations, and the PPP leaders had themselves praised it and said it an effective way of governance.
Party leaders said when the MQM moved out of the ruling coalition, the PPP took back the ordinance and showed “its true colours”.
MQM Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar cried foul and termed it an “undemocratic move”.
Speaking to media, Dr Sattar said, “This is a conspiracy against the people of Sindh, not only those living in urban areas but also in the rural areas”.
The MQM leader demanded the PPP to explain the justification for such a move.
Meanwhile, the Coordination Committee said that the MQM for years had been trying to promote peace between every sect and ethnic group in the province, but by this move the PPP will divide Sindhis and Urdu speaking people. The party termed it a “Sindh dushman” move instead of a “Sindh dosti” move.
The MQM warmed that they will carry out a constitutional and legal and democratic struggle against the move.
Sindhi nationalist leaders, who themselves opposed the SPLGO l, see the withdrawal as a mere election manoeuvre from the ruling PPP.
“The PPP has not repealed the law out of love for Sindh but in the greed to get votes in the elections,” said Sindh Taraqi Pasand party’s leader Dr Qadir Magsi.
“They think that by revoking this system the people of Sindh will forget their [PPP] treachery with the motherland. But they won’t succeed in cleaning this stain.”
Nationalist parties consider the local government system a conspiracy to pave the way for the division of the province. They refer to demands like the creation of a Muhajir province to be the actual aim of the local government system.
Meannwhile, Qaumi Awami Tehreek President Ayaz Palijo said that the SPLGA’s withdrawal was simply a gambit to deceive the people of Sindh. “If the PPP wins elections from Sindh again, it will bring back a system like the SPLGA in collusion with the MQM which will ultimately lead to the division of Sindh.”
He told The Express Tribune that while he welcomes the restoration of the 1979 system, “we will not forget that the PPP is a party who conspired against Sindh’s unity.”
However, PPP workers celebrated the party’s decision by taking out a rally and resorting to celebratory aerial firing in Qasimabad.
“The PPP can never make a compromise on Sindh because the people have always entrusted their faith in the party and in the Bhutto family,” said Yameen Soomro, a local party leader, who led the rally.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2013.
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