SUKKUR: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, along with several of his senior party colleagues, ministers and advisers, visited Khangarh in Ghotki district to meet Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Sardar Mohammad Bux Mahar on Monday and also proceeded to Garhi Chakar, where Raheem Bux Bozdar — a close associate of Grand Democratic Alliance MPA Sardar Ali Gohar Khan Mahar — announced his decision to join PPP along with his community.
However, Ali Gohar Mahar’s paternal nephew, Ahmed Khan Mahar, did not join the PPP as was expected, and also predicted by the local media over the last few weeks.
CM Shah, accompanied by Sharjeel Inam Memon, landed at Sardar Cotton Factory in Khangarh by helicopter. They were received by MNA Mohammad Bux Mahar and several other PPP activists.
The visiting guests were taken to Mahar brothers’ residence, Lucky Bungalow, in a big caravan. Bangal Khan Mahar, Ahmed Ali Khan Mahar and other family members welcomed them at the bungalow, where Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Saeed Ghani, Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Jam Ikramullah Dharejo, Abdul Bari Khan Pitafi, Syed Farrukh Shah, Mehtab Khan Dahar, Arif Khan Mahar, Sardar Raheem Bux Khan Bozdar, Sardar Salahuddin Laghari, Babar Khan Loond and other senior party leaders were already present.
Media kept at bay during proceedings at Mahar brothers’ residence
The chief minister presided over a meeting at the bungalow which was attended by office-bearers of the district, taluka and town chapters of Ghotki, Sukkur and Khairpur.
Media personnel were not allowed in for coverage of the proceedings.
According to party sources, the CM apprised the meeting about the Centre-Sindh conflict over the province’s share in the NFC award and unpaid funds, besides the party’s strategy to deal with the federal government on various issues. He also discussed the outcome of Sunday’s conference of opposition parties in Islamabad, and remarked that [PPP chairman] Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was now fighting the “undemocratic forces” after Benazir Bhutto.
The party sources also said that the chief minister received a briefing from the participants about PPP’s position in the three districts and the status of ongoing development works there.
Later, the MNA Mahar hosted a luncheon for the CM and his entourage. He also arranged a ceremony to celebrate the birthday of party chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. The CM and other guests cut a big cake to mark the occasion.
After leaving Lucky Bungalow, CM Shah, along with MNA Mahar, ministers, advisers and former Sukkur mayor Barrister Arsalan Islam Shaikh proceeded to Sahib Khan Loond village near Jarwar town within Ghotki district to meet the Loond community chieftain Sardar Fayyaz Ali Khan. He offered his condolences to Sardar Loond, PPP Ghotki district president Mir Babar Ali Khan Loond and Mir Asad Ali Khan Loond over the recent death of their younger brother, Mir Rizwan Khan Loond.
The CM’s entourage then proceeded to Garhi Chakar where former MPA Sardar Raheem Bux Khan Bozdar welcomed the guests. CM Shah held a one-to-one meeting with him after Sardar Bozdar held a press conference to announce his decision to join the PPP along with other notables of his constituency and the community. The chief minister also spoke at the press conference and expressed his pleasure on Sardar Bozdar’s decision.
The CM told the media that the current year so far proved a period of troubles and turmoil for his government, pointing out that first the farmlands across the province were devoured by huge swarms of locusts, then a lockdown to curb coronavirus spread badly damaged all economic sectors and then record-breaking rainfall devastated urban and rural areas of as many as six districts.
He, however, held out the assurance that his government would be able to improve the situation and provincial economy.
He said the issues of funds and employment were being taken up with the federal government and multinational companies to provide relief to the masses. He pointed out that the pace of work on federal projects in the province had been accelerated with the coordination committee having been put in place.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2020