SUKKUR: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that all institutions must work within their constitutional limits. “If they will remain within their domain, no problem will arise in governance,” he said.
Mr Shah was speaking to lawyers at the Sindh High Court Bar Association office and later addressing a press conference at the local press club on Friday. He also spoke to the media outside the bar office.
Alluding to the episode of retired Capt Safdar, he without mentioning his name noted that the Karachi Bar Association had condemned the incident in its recent resolution.
Without naming anyone, he claimed that he himself was “receiving threats” and said if he would speak out, it would open up a Pandora’s box.
In his 45-minute speech at the bar office, the CM strongly criticised the federal government for its poor performance. “We don’t ask you to stand with us, we want you to uphold the law and respect the rule of law ... if you resort to excesses today, you will have to face the same tomorrow,” he remarked.
Apparently speaking about chief ministers’ meetings with the prime minister on various issues of provinces, he pointed out that [CMs of] three provinces would remain silent over federal government’s excesses with provinces because they belonged to PTI, so if he dared to take up the contentious issues, he was likely to be skipped in such meetings.
In this context, Mr Shah said that Sindh was not given its share of Rs25 billion last year and Rs65bn this year.
He also pointed out that he and many of his associates in the Sindh government, besides Pakistan Peoples Party leadership, had been implicated in “false” cases. “We are facing NAB (National Accountability Bureau) references and appearing before its officers and accountability courts ... we are not afraid of accountability or jails.” He said PPP did not believe in victimisation and, as such, no opposition figure was made to face NAB references in its tenure.
He said [former leader of the opposition in the National Assembly] Syed Khursheed Shah had been under custody for one year but he could not be indicted as yet.
The chief minister also held the PTI government responsible for the unprecedented inflation and price hike, pointing out that the country had a surplus wheat crop but this government was importing wheat and was happy over it. He said petroleum prices world over were registering a sharp decline but in Pakistan its rates were being increased. When the petrol price was once reduced, the commodity had disappeared from fuel stations, he recalled.
He said it was the PTI government which was responsible for the petroleum, wheat and sugar crises but it was shifting the blame of everything to Sindh government to hide its incompetence.
Speaking about federal government’s intention to develop twin islands off Karachi, the chief minister said that the ordinance promulgated to execute the plan was in conflict with certain articles of the Constitution. He said the ordinance was aimed at “occupying” the islands which belonged to Sindh. The Constitution was very clear on provinces’ territorial boundaries, he told lawyers.
Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2020