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February 20, 2019

Govt, opposition vow to restore law and order in Sindh together

Karachi

February 20, 2019

The Sindh government of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday decided to form a coordination committee, which will comprise members of both parties, to deal with the current law and order situation of the province.

Before the decision, however, PTI MPAs had staged a protest demonstration and sit-in outside the Chief Minister House because of the deteriorating law and order situation of Sindh. They demanded that district coordination committees be set up on an urgent basis.

Led by provincial assembly opposition leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi and PA parliamentary party leader Haleem Adil Sheikh, the lawmakers wearing black armbands stood on the steps of the CM House and sang the national anthem before demanding that practical efforts be made to curb the increasing lawlessness across Sindh.

They refused to have the tea and biscuits sent for them from the CM House, but later a dialogue was held between the protesters and chief executive Syed Murad Ali Shah. Following the meeting, PPP ministers Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and Saeed Ghani, and the PTI’s Naqvi, Sheikh and other lawmakers jointly addressed a news conference.

It was announced that after looking into legal provisions, district coordination committees on law and order will be formed if there are no legal hurdles. The meeting at the CM House decided to constitute a committee comprising members of both the PPP and the PTI to coordinate on the law and order situation of the province. The body will comprise the PPP’s Nasir Shah, Murtaza Wahab and Ghani, and the PTI’s Sheikh and Saeed Afridi.

‘Links’

Earlier, Naqvi told the media outside the PA that innocent citizens are being killed in Sindh on a daily basis and these incidents are in some way linked to the provincial government.

He said that if the police officers involved in the recent crimes are not removed within a week, the PTI’s lawmakers will stage a major protest. He demanded a high-level investigation into the Rimsha murder case, and said that all the black sheep involved in lawlessness should be sent to jail.

And Sheikh said that the people do not want to see the return of ethnic riots. He said the government took notice of the Ranjhani murder case after six days, adding that no government minister or the CM went to his house to offer their condolences.

He said the CM did not take action in Rimsha’s case because the accused are associated with his party. He also said that political workers are being murdered in Karachi and some other citizens have been killed in police custody, but the bereaved families have not received justice.

‘No oversight’

Wahab, the CM’s law adviser, earlier said that the PTI should have read the court order that has ended the Sindh government’s oversight powers over the police force before demanding that the provincial administration remove officers from Karachi’s areas where the recent killings have been committed.

He was addressing a news conference at the PA building where he castigated the PTI’s decision of holding a protest march and sit-in outside the CM House. The adviser said the PTI always makes demands without going through the relevant laws, adding that there was no justification for the decision to march on the CM House when the government was willing to listen to their reservations and take steps to resolve them.

He said the PTI has been bent on causing public commotion that can ultimately waste all the efforts and sacrifices of the government and law enforcement agencies for restoring law and order in the province.

Wahab said the PPP has been exercising patience and sticking to the democratic traditions and norms while dealing with the opposition, which has seemingly been taking undue advantage of the government’s tolerance.

Citing a recent example, he said that when a PTI MNA and his associates splashed buckets of sewage at the front gates of the CM House, the government took no retaliatory action. The adviser said that the opposition lawmaker in fact insulted the sanctity of a building that represents the collective will of the people of Sindh, as the CM House does not belong to the PPP but to all the people of the province.

He said that instead of taking extreme steps such as marching on the CM House, the PTI should have used the parliamentary forum of the PA to raise their demands in a democratic manner. The next sitting of the current session will be held on February 27.

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