Murad Ali Shah seeks help from both sides of aisle after being elected as Sindh CM for successive third time

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Sindh CM-elect Murad Ali Shah speaks on the floor of the Sindh Assembly in Karachi, on February 26, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — Geo News
Sindh CM-elect Murad Ali Shah speaks on the floor of the Sindh Assembly in Karachi, on February 26, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — Geo News

  • PPP candidate secures 112 votes to become province's chief executive.
  • He prays for courage to run province and bring all parties in harmony.
  • Opposition parties hope new leadership will ensure good governance.

Newly-elected Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Monday sought help from both sides of the aisle, the government benches and opposition benches, after being chosen as the provincial chief executive for a successive third time. 

The Sindh Assembly earlier today elected Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) candidate, Murad, as the chief minister of Sindh. 

The third time lucky, has served twice as Sindh's chief minister from 2016 to 2018 and then from 2018 to 2023, and this will be his third consecutive term. 

Taking the floor after his election, CM Murad thanked PPP and its top leadership for choosing him for the post. "I have been chosen for the third time for leading the province and I have been elected as the member of this House for the fifth time," he said

Recalling his early days in politics, Murad said that his father had told him and his brother that one of them should contest in the 2002 polls as he couldn't at that time. He said that PPP leader Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, who was in exile at that time, encouraged him to take part in the polls.

He recalled the "time" when talks of his arrest were on the rise but Bilawal said that "Murad will be my CM from jail" if he is sent to prison. Murad also mentioned how he reformed himself without criticism.

"PPP will not play with the security of the country for just a few seats that were taken away from us. Instead, we will fight a legal war for them," he said.

The CM-elect said that there have big terrorist incidents in the last six months, but the new government will have a special focus on improving the peace and security situation, with getting rid of the dacoits in the kacha areas on top of the priority list.

Speaking about Bilawal's determination, Murad recalled the catastrophic floods in Sindh in 2022, saying that the PPP chairman had tasked him to prepare a plan to house the displaced people.

"I thought Bilawal is a young politician, he will forget about it, but he asked me right on the next morning about the plan," he said.

He then lauded PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, saying that if anyone has the credit for making Pakistan a nuclear state, it is the former prime minister.

Murad then prayed for courage to run the province and the ability to bring all parties and opposition in harmony while dealing with provincial affairs.

Today, the election for the province's chief executive began after a half-an-hour delay via an open ballot with those supporting Muran and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan's (MQM-P) Khurshidi directed to go right and left of the assembly hall, respectively.

A total of 148 members of the assembly participated in the polling, which saw Murad securing 112 votes to become the 25th chief minister of Sindh in the contest against MQM-P Ali Khurshidi, who got only 36 votes to his name. 

Following Murad's election as the custodian of the House, PPP stalwart Sharjeel Inam Memon congratulated CM Murad and the new speaker and deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly, as well as party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari for leading a successful election campaign.

Jamat-e-Islami (JI) MPA Muhammad Farooq said in his speech in the assembly that Murad is as much JI's CM as he is of the province, expressing hope that he will take the party along.

He said that he is the only MPA from JI in the House but he will keep pointing out the issues in the province through his voice.

Former Sindh chief minister and senior politician from PPP, Qaim Ali Shah said that everyone can see the work the party has done in Sindh.

"Bilawal Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur keep asking the MPAs about what have they done. Even if the leadership is satisfied with the performance, it calls for more work," Qaim added.

He said that "no one would have imagined" that electricity would be generated with coal. Qaim questioned which other party has "worked" in Karachi.

He added that Bilawal had made the right choice by nominating Murad as the CM. 

MQM-P MPA Abdul Waseem congratulated the new CM and expressed hope that the newly elected assembly would resolve the people's issues.

"We all need to respect the elected members and resolve the problems. I hope Murad Ali Shah will live up to people's expectations," he said.

Meanwhile, PPP MPA Sardar Shah also congratulated Murad on his election as the chief minister, saying that it was a great honour to serve the post for the third time which his father once served. 

Taking the floor, MQM-P MPA Iftikhar Alam congratulated Murad on his success and expressed hope that the new government will work in Sindh's rural and urban areas "without discrimination".

He also said that he expected the new government to transfer the powers to the grassroots level.

Meanwhile, MPA Muhammad Bakhsh Mehar requested Murad to give special attention to the peace and security situation in Ghotki. 

Moreover, former speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, Faryal Talpur and other PPP leaders also spoke during the session and pledged to work for the province with good intentions.

Earlier, at the onset of today's session, speaker Awais Qadir Shah administered the oath of newly-elected Sindh Assembly member Nadir Magsi, who was unable to take his oath on Saturday with the rest of the lawmakers.

A day earlier, the assembly elected PPP's Syed Awais Qadir Shah and Anthony Naveed as the new speaker and deputy speaker as the majority of the lawmakers voted for them.