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PPP’s fear of governor’s rule on Sindh baseless, says Ismail

Updated December 30, 2018

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GOVERNOR Imran Ismail being received by Sardar Ali Gohar Mahar in Khangarh on Saturday.—Dawn
GOVERNOR Imran Ismail being received by Sardar Ali Gohar Mahar in Khangarh on Saturday.—Dawn

SUKKUR: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail has said that Pakistan Peoples Party’s apprehensions about imposition of governor’s rule on Sindh were unfounded. He was of the view that the party wanted to become “political martyr” but the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government would not let it succeed in such efforts.

The governor was speaking to the media at Sukkur circuit house before his departure to Khangarh town in Ghotki district on Saturday.

He denied having discussed imposition of governor’s rule on Sindh with Prime Minister Imran Khan at any stage. “Actually, PPP people had started the propaganda due to the fear that their leadership may meet the same fate [the ousted prime minister] Nawaz Sharif has met.

Governor Ismail argued that the PPP leadership would not be necessarily sent to jail as it was too early to reach a conclusion [about the judiciary’s decision in the money laundering and fake accounts cases against them]. Even then, if PPP wanted to become ‘political martyr’, it was their own choice, he added.

In reply to a question about claims of a forward bloc emerging in the Sindh Assembly, the governor said was it was PPP’s internal matter, adding: “We have nothing to do with it”.

“Our job is to address the issues being faced by the masses, and not to work towards toppling the Sindh government,” he said.

Governor Ismail also expressed his grief over the fresh spate of targeted killings in Karachi, and acknowledged that some key suspects had been arrested and more were likely to be arrested. He hoped that the arrests would help security agencies reach the culprits. He hinted that security agencies had reached the killers of former MNA Ali Raza Abidi.

He noted that all three attacks that took place this week were targeted against activists of what once was the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). “This makes one to believe that they [targeted killings] were aimed at pitting former MQM leaders against each other and provoke them to engage in armed clashes so as to disturb the city’s law and order.” The force behind this seemed to be bent upon disturbing law and order in Sindh, he said.

Commenting on the provincial government’s performance, Governor Ismail said people of Sindh, especially those of rural areas, were experiencing worst ever civic conditions but the government appeared indifferent as if it was unable to feel their pain. “It doesn’t have some time to spare to look into people’s issues; it’s busy too busy in other matters,” he remarked.

“We have discussed the situation at a meeting and taken certain decisions, which have been conveyed to the prime minister,” he said.

“We are, however, here to help the masses; we will do our best to mitigate people’s sufferings,” he said.

When his attention was drawn to the problems being faced by people visiting various police stations, the governor said he had already talked to the inspector general of Sindh and asked him to address the issues.

Commenting on PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s recent speech, he said it was beyond his apprehension as to which battle Mr Zardari was talking about and where was the battlefield.

“It’s not we who have instituted cases against him and his associates; the cases had already been investigated when we came to power,” he said.

He said PTI never intended to engage itself in a legal of street battle with its political rivals but if others opted for it, they would find PTI strong enough to defend itself.

The governor observed that the JIT (joint investigation team] report on these cases was terrible and extremely difficult to challenge. He said that if anybody want to fight the legal war or want to fight the war on the streets; it was their wish but we would not impress from their threats and accountability would be continued.

He said that Imran Khan had talked for installation of de-sanitation plants as well as supply of water in Karachi but when Sindh government would not cooperate then how it would work on it, however, he said that he work on it.

Later, Governor Ismail along with other PTI leaders including Haleem Adil Shaikh proceeded to Gohar Palace in Khangarh town where MPA Sardar Ali Gohar Mahar, belonging to the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) welcomed him.

The governor met MPA Sardar Raheem Bux Khan Bozdar, chairman of the Ghotki district council and Haji Khan Mahar. He conveyed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s message to Sardar Ali Gohar Mahar.

The visiting PTI leaders then left for Tar Bungalow where Minister of State for Interior Sheheryar Afridi and Dubai’s prince Sheikh Nehiyan bin Mubarak have been staying.

The PTI leader’s meeting with GDA leaders lasted about three hours but its media coverage was not allowed.

According to reliable sources, they discussed a strategy vis-a-vis a political situation arising out of the Dec 31st proceedings of the Supreme Court in the massive money laundering and banking scam.

The PTI leaders were expected to hold a press conference in Khangarh on Sunday.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2018