KARACHI, Sept 29: The provincial government on Saturday set in motion the process of installing the new local bodies structure by issuing a notification to implement the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO) 2012.

The new order carries almost the same features that were part of the model introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf in 2001. It also brought his brainchild Police Order of 2002 back into life, notifying restructuring of the key law-enforcement agency only in Karachi in an apparent move to win over a key ally – the Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

They said the notifications made public on Saturday but issued late on Friday gave metropolitan corporations status to Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana and Mirpurkhas. The other 18 districts of the province would have district councils, they said.

“The metropolitan corporations would be headed by mayors and deputy mayors,” Sindh Local Government Secretary Fazlur Rahman said. “There would be a chairman of each district council.

“With the fresh notification, 18 town municipal administrations in Karachi have been restored.”

With the new order in place, he said, 1,108 union councils across the province had been restored.

The administrators in 18 Karachi towns were likely to be posted in a few days, he said.

However, he did not elaborate the fate of officers currently serving at different positions.

Seen as a source of an urban-rural divide by the nationalist and opposition parties, the SPLGO was promulgated by the governor earlier this month after days of talks between the PPP and the MQM.

The ordinance on one hand sent ripples among the nationalists mainly in rural Sindh and on the other led to a breakup between the PPP and some old allies in the province, including the Awami National Party (ANP) that parted ways with the government along with the Pakistan Muslim League-F, National People’s Party, PML-Q and its Likeminded faction.

Interestingly, they are keeping their partnership with the PPP intact at the centre.

The home department also issued a notification bringing the Karachi police’s organisational structure in consonance with the Police Order of 2002 that was repealed last year with the revival of the Sindh Police Act of 1861.

“The fresh notification is only for the Karachi police structure,” an official said. “The operations, functions and organisation of police in other parts of the province will remain the same as defined under the Sindh Police Act.”

He said Karachi police under the new arrangement had been divided into the east, south and west zones which would be headed by DIGs. The city will have 20 divisions like it had towns under the Police Order 2002, headed by five SSPs and 15 SPs.

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