Sunday Dec 12, 2021
The passage of the revised Local Government Bill 2021 under the Sindh government has brought closer different political parties of the province, even arch-rivals PML-N the PTI.
Sindh's major political parties rejected the local bodies act passed with new amendments by the Sindh government during an All Parties Conference (APC) called by the MQM-P Saturday night.
According to the act, the mayor's election will be conducted with a show of hands and only elected officials will be able to run for the post. The mayor will be the co-chairman of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board and chairman of the Solid Waste Management Board.
The APC was held at a local hotel in Karachi where various leaders spoke out against the current system of local governments. The Awami National Party (ANP) also attended the conference.
MQM's Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that one could not expect anything good from the PPP.
"If courts and concerned institutions fail to come up with the right decision, people will have to take to the roads," he threatened.
"The PPP has made the entire province sick; the urban areas of the province are in the ICU," he added.
Addressing the moot via video link, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said the local bodies system in Sindh is the worst in Pakistan while the one in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is relatively better.
PML-N's Miftah Ismail chimed in by saying that the PPP had failed to empower the people of Sindh via the 18th Amendment.
ANP's Shahi Sayed expressed support for the 18th Amendment but said it had not devolved power to the grassroots.
The conference concluded with a seven-point joint resolution that demanded the financial and administrative powers be transferred to local bodies.
The political parties agreed that a committee consisting of representatives from all parties present in the APC should be formed. The new body will formulate its recommendations and send them to the provincial assembly, the joint declaration states.
The political parties including the PTI, PML-N, PML-F and ANP rejected the Sindh government's legislation on local bodies at the conference.
Earlier talking to media at the assembly premises after the approval of the LG Bill, the leaders of the Opposition parties in the provincial assembly condemned the provincial government against what they called an unconstitutional move.
"The Sindh Local Government Act 2013 was already in contravention to the constitution of Pakistan particularly its Article 140-A that provided for devolution of administrative, financial and political authority to local government while PPP Sindh government further usurped limited powers and functions of the third tier of government through controversial amendments," said Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh.
"The PPP placed and approved the unconstitutional amendments in violation of the rules and procedure of assembly and repeated the same when SLG Bill 2021 was presented in the assembly for reconsideration after objections by Sindh Governor."
MQM-P's parliamentary leader Muhammad Hussain contradicted Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and provincial ministers Nasir Shah and Saeed Ghani's statements on Sindh government holding consultations with Opposition parties.
He said that if they intended to consult Opposition, they would have constituted a parliamentary committee that was representative of all parties sitting in the house.
He said that the speaker the Sindh assembly has not remained impartial and all Opposition parties had vowed to resist the dictatorial approach in the Sindh assembly where opposition benches were declined of their rights and privileges.
He added that the Opposition would not let the government ransack the LG system.