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Murad Ali Shah takes oath as Sindh CM

Updated July 29, 2016

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KARACHI: Syed Murad Ali Shah was sworn in as the twenty-fourth chief minister of Sindh on Friday evening.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad administered the oath to Shah at an oath-taking ceremony held at the Governor House.

Shah was elected to the post earlier today after an election for the province's chief executive was conducted in a Sindh Assembly session, which Shah won with a comfortable lead.

At the end of the provincial legislature's voting session, Shah secured 88 votes in favour, while three votes were cast in favour of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's Khurram Sher Zaman.

In a widely expected move earlier, the PPP formally nominated senior Sindh minister Syed Murad Ali Shah as chief minister after outgoing provincial chief executive Syed Qaim Ali Shah handed in his resignation earlier this week.

Seasoned politician

A former adviser to the chief minister, Shah has been returning to the Sindh Assembly from the Jamshoro constituency PS-73 since its creation in the 2002 general elections. He was elected to the seat from 2002-2007, and was elected again on the same seat during by-polls in 2014.

Shah was disqualified from the 2013 general election as he held Canadian citizenship at the time. He later renounced his Canadian citizenship so he could contest by-polls in 2014.

Shah has previously held positions in the Hyderabad Development Authority and Karachi Fish Harbour Authority.

PPP's crucial huddle in Dubai

The change of guard in Sindh came after the ruling Pakistan People's Party held a consultative meeting in Dubai earlier last week.

Former Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah along with senior PPP leader Faryal Talpur and Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal left the metropolis for Dubai earlier, where PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari were waiting for them to begin crucial deliberations.

The leadership of PPP were expected to hold discussions with Asif Zardari on two crucial issues concerning Sindh — another extension in Rangers’ special powers for Karachi and, more importantly, whether the paramilitary force be allowed to exercise the same policing powers in the rest of the province.

Rangers’ raid-and-arrest powers have expired as the last extension, which was given by the provincial government for 77 days and only for the Karachi division, ended on July 19.

The PPP-led Sindh government fears that the Rangers will target its cadre if it widens the scope of their special policing powers to the whole of Sindh.

Karachi corps comman­der had also met CM Sindh earlier, and had asked for renewal of Rangers’ special powers and an extension of their mandate to the whole of the province.

Shah told the corps commander that he would take a decision only after consulting the party high command that includes — or solely comprising — former president Asif Zardari.

Zardari and PPP chairman Bhutto-Zardari were expected to also review the affairs of the Sindh government for which Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah had also arrived in Dubai.

Before leaving for Dubai, the CM Sindh told reporters at Karachi airport that the party leadership would “review performance of the government and set new targets for development works”.