The opposition parties of Sindh have rejected the new local government bill that was passed recently by the provincial assembly, terming it an attempt on the part of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) to wrest more power.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leaders termed it an attempt to occupy the urban centres of the province. MQM-P convenor Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui told a workers’ convention in Bahadurabad on Saturday that his party completely rejects the proposed law, and is ready to launch a campaign against it.
He said that instead of transferring authority and power to the grassroots level, the PPP has been taking all the powers from LG institutions and handing them over to the provincial government.
Plea to governor
Rejecting the recent amendments in the LG law, and dubbing them undemocratic, dictatorial and against public interest, leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami demanded that the Sindh governor reject the bill.
Addressing a press conference at the Idara Noor-e-Haq, JI Karachi Emir Hafiz Naeemur Rehman also announced that his party would approach the Sindh High Court and the Supreme Court against the amendments, calling them a violation of the constitution.
He rebuked the PPP government in Sindh for what he called further tightening the provincial government’s clutches on the local bodies, instead of the devolution of powers as per the demands of the constitution.
Describing the recent development as a conspiracy against Karachi, the JI leader criticised the manner in which the PPP got the bill passed, calling it shameful.
After the passage of the 18th amendment, the PPP government in Sindh took over the federal subjects in the province but did not relieve the bodies supposed to be run by the local government, said the JI leader, adding that the recent amendments were contrary to the spirit of devolution and the constitution.
He said the PPP had passed the bill on the basis of a fake majority in the province. The so-called majority was acquired on the basis of a flawed census,
The JI Karachi chief said the PPP ruled in the interior areas of Sindh with the help of feudal lords, and wanted to implement the same formula in the urban areas.
JI MPA Abdul Rasheed said the PPP should have opened the amendments for debate but the party avoided the democratic path. JI leaders Usama Razi, Raja Arif, Munim Zafar, Saifuddin Advocate, Zahid Askari and others were also present at the news conference.
Declaring the Sindh government a “democratic terrorist”, Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal said that the ugly manner in which the LG amendment bill had been passed was a disgrace to the democratic history of the world.
“Sindh and its capital Karachi are the worst victims of the PPP’s democratic terrorism,” said Kamal while addressing a protest rally that was held from Hasan Square to the Urdu Science University. A large number of party supporters and residents attended the rally.
He also announced a campaign against the PPP-led “corrupt and biased” provincial government. He said that all the revenue-generating institutions created by the Karachi Municipal Corporation had been taken over by the provincial government.
“The residents of Karachi have been deprived of their democratic rights by this act, but the PSP will stand against the PPP’s oppressive, corrupt, biased and prejudiced government, and from now onward it will be a totally different ball game.”
Kamal said the rulers did not understand the language of respect. “We did not liberate the city from the clutches of RAW to let it be turned into the personal dynasty of Asif Zardari.”
He said disillusioned and dejected youths became terrorists because of the characterless and mischievous PPP rule in the province. Drinking water, education and roads — nothing was available to the people, he added.
“The PPP is making tomorrow’s terrorists today. The state should stop it today. Now we are going to stop the oppression and prejudice of the PPP.”
Kamal said that the PPP because of its “power lust” was taking over control of civic institutions. “The institutions in which the youth of Sindh used to get jobs have been also snatched, depriving them of their rights.”
PSP President Anis Kaimkhani, and members of the party’s Central Executive Committee and National Council were also present on the occasion.
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