KARACHI: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday held rallies in Hyderabad, Jamshoro, Thatta, Kandhkot-Kashmore and some other districts to mobilise workers and supporters for the rejection of the amendments to the Local Government law proposed by Sindh government.
In Hyderabad, Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh addressed a demonstration outside the local press club and vowed to hold protests across Sindh if the provincial government did not withdraw the bill adopted by the assembly for the amendments. Protests would also be held outside Bilawal House and CM House in Karachi, he added.
Mr Sheikh argued that through these amendments, the LG system was being made dependent on Bilawal House. The ruling party was trying to introduce ‘jageerdari system’ through backdoor, he said.
He described it as a ‘black law’, and said the Pakistan Peoples Party was trying to bring in a tyrannical jageerdari system. He deplored that the bill was declared adopted while a debate on it was still under way in the house.
He also pointed out that the bill was presented in the assembly without sharing it on the agenda. “When the bill was being tabled, the face reading of the chief minister and LG minister clearly reflected that a big conspiracy has been hatched against Sindh,” he remarked.
The PTI leader said that PPP had in 2013 introduced a dual local government system. Now powers of mayor and deputy mayor were being snatched and delegated to provincial government, he added.
“[PPP co-chairman Asif Ali] Zardari needs one-window operation; one individual will collect the entire money,” he said.
Mr Sheikh also pointed out that earlier the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and Karachi and Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) had been handed over to Sindh government.
“Under the proposed LG law, anyone can be made mayor or chairman of a town committee which shows that the law is being introduced to violate sanctity of vote,” he said.
He accused the ruling party of having become “traders of votes and notes”. They wanted to occupy the LG system, he alleged.
The opposition leader said that Article 140-A of the Constitution provided that the financial, administrative and political authority and responsibility should be devolved to local government system. LGs had been stripped of taxation authority, he added.
He said opposition members in the Sindh Assembly were not provided the bill even for a reading.
He said the PPP government had centralised powers. Every authority has been delegated to provincial ministers. The LG system has become personal fief of Bilawal House. He said the LG bill had many ambiguities and it was not also clear on ‘term’ and ‘election’.
“PTI wants a law that empowers people’s representatives. [Through the bill], PPP has ensured that no political activist becomes a mayor or chairman of a town committee and that only the wealthy ones hold the slots and that, too, without a vote,” he said.
Feudal lords were being encouraged to keep LGs comprising their own family members, he added.
PTI MNA Jai Parkash, Khawand Bux Jahejo, Q. Hakim and others also spoke.
DADU: PTI activists and supporters led by Haleem Adil Sheikh took out a rally from Jilani House to Al-Madina Chowk in Kotri town. Carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the proposed LG law, they raised slogans against the PPP government and the amendments being made to the law.
Mr Sheikh addressed the participants at Al-Madina Chowk and appealed to the people of Sindh to oppose the ‘black law’ tooth and nail as it would rob them of their right to vote and contest in the LG election, besides having their genuinely elected representatives in this institution.
THATTA: Haleem Adil Sheikh, MNA Jai Parkash and PTI’s Thatta district president Raees Arsalan Brohi led a rally from Edhi Centre to the local press club on Tuesday.
The participants were wearing black armbands and carrying banners and placards while raising slogans against the proposed LG law.
The leaders spoke at the rally and resolved to resist its enactment in order to save the entire province from falling into the hands of feudal lords.
Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2021