PM Shehbaz takes back IRSA chairman's appointment after Sindh govt's protest

PPP-led Sindh government had termed Zafar Mahmood’s appointment “violation” of constitutional procedures, water accord

Rana Javaid
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah (left) and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a meeting in this undated photo. — APP
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah (left) and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a meeting in this undated photo. — APP

  • PM Office issues notification regarding withdrawal of previous order.
  • CCI decided to appoint IRSA chairman on rotation basis, Jam Shoro.
  • IRSA established to work without influence of Centre: Sindh CM.

KARACHI: Day after appointing Zafar Mahmood — a retired grade 22 federal government officer — as the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) chairman, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif withdrew the order following Sindh government's protest.

Prime Minister’s Office has issued a notification regarding the withdrawal of its previous order for Mahmood’s appointment as the IRSA chairman.

The development came after Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah contacted PM Shehbaz over the matter.

In a statement, Sindh Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro said CM Shah apprised the premier about Council of Common Interests (CCI) decision that the appointment of IRSA chairman will be rotated amongst the provinces.

Shoro added that PM Shehbaz accepted Sindh’s stance and assured CM Shah of taking back the notification.

— Reporter
— Reporter

Yesterday, the new chairman of the water regulator was appointed for a three-year tenure under the IRSA ordinance promulgated to restructure the authority, however, Sindh raised objections to the move and termed it a violation of constitutional procedures.

Mahmood has earlier served as secretary establishment, commerce, water and power as well as Wapda chairman. The prime minister on March 12 approved the name of Mahmood as IRSA chairman among the list of three contenders, including IRSA’s federal member and member Wapda, The News reported.

Meanwhile, the Sindh cabinet also expressed its reservations about the appointment of the IRSA chairman, stating that it violates the water accord.

Sindh CM, speaking to journalists in Karachi on Thursday, said that the purpose of establishing the water regulator was its functioning free from the Centre’s influence.

He added that the previous caretaker government promulgated the amended IRSA ordinance which paved the way for including a member from the Centre.