KARACHI: It is not something the government usually admits to, but on Thursday, the chief executive of the province said that the home minister could be correct when he says that the target killings are politically motivated.
This development has come however, only after a member of the province’s ruling political party was shot dead this week. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah held a press conference with home minister Zulfiqar Mirza at Chief Minister House to condemn the killing of a Pakistan Peoples Party member. The chief minister took this opportunity to also comment on the investigations into the twin Karsaz bomb blasts in October 2007 targeting the late Benazir Bhutto’s homecoming parade.
He said that these investigations were simultaneously underway with the UN commission’s work. About former Sindh chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Shah said an investigation against him in land scam cases was underway. Answering a question regarding the possibility of summoning the former CM in connection with Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, Shah said that even though Arbab Rahim used indecent language against the deceased PPP chairperson, they would exact no vendetta.
“Forget and forgive was the forte of Benazir Bhutto, and the party will humbly follow,” he declared. When asked about the action being taken against former nazim of Matiari Mohammad Ali Shah Jamot, a member of the Pakistan Muslim League- Functional, the chief minister said that as the PPP does not believe in political victimisation, it is waiting for the results of an investigation. “We will only take action against the nazim and the accused bank officials if the allegations of embezzlement are proven true.
Let the law take its course.” Regarding the issue of markets closing at 8 pm, he said, “It is better to resolve the issue through dialogue with traders. They need to realise that power conservation is significant for the whole country.” The ban on using air conditioners until 11 am would save another 500 megawatts of electricity, lessening power outages by 33 per cent, he added. About the shortage of gunny bags in Sindh that is causing wheat farmers to protest every day, “We have fixed Rs950 as the government support price of wheat, which is much higher in comparison to open market price [benefitting the farmer].
That is why all the farmers are rushing to get gunny bags which has led to the shortage,” he explained. However, the government is investigating if the shortage is artificially created or genuine, Shah added. When asked about the delay in a new local bodies system, the chief minister said that drafting legislation was not easy and the government will bring about the 2010 system with new amendments. “We want to make amendments to the 1979 system, but some elements are opposing it.
A viable and productive system for the province will soon be evolved,” he said. Meanwhile, Mirza, referring to the murder of advocate Sohail of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi, said that the mastermind of the case has been arrested and the police will find the other culprits soon. “The killers of MQM-H activists, who could not be arrested earlier, will now be arrested,” declared Mirza.