KARACHI: Building up their momentum against the recently passed Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill 2021, opposition parties in Sindh on Tuesday vowed to challenge the new law at all available forums.

While the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf sought intervention from the president of Pakistan to safeguard peoples’ rights in the province, the Pak Sarzameen Party called for constitutional amendments to fix the problem once and for all and Jamaat-i-Islami vowed to take to streets on Dec 19 to stage a protest against the ‘black law’.

PTI approaches Alvi

Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh wrote a letter to President Dr Arif Alvi seeking his role against what he called human rights violation in Sindh and the recent ‘violation’ of the Constitution by the ruling PPP, which led to the passing of the local government bill.

“On 26 Nov, 2021, a bill with certain amendments to the Sindh Local Government Act 2013 was got passed without presenting and referring it to the standing committee for necessary consultation,” said the letter appealing to the president to take urgent notice of this ‘alarming’ situation and take steps as per Constitution to up hold the supremacy of the Constitution.

Political parties announce strategies to foil PPP’s plan to enforce ‘dictatorship’ in Sindh

“This is a clear violation of Rule 99 of Sindh Assembly Rules of Business. Furthermore, not the said amendments but the Sindh Local Govt Act 2013 by itself is a serious violation and against the spirit of Articles 140-A, 7, 8 and 32. All opposition parties in the Assembly of Sindh and outside the House have rejected such amendments and Sindh Local Govt Act 2013 as a whole.”

PSP accuses PPP of fomenting ‘hatred’

While accusing the PPP of igniting the politics of ‘hatred’, PSP chairman Mustafa Kamal demanded an apology from the Sindh chief minister for his remarks and sought immediate amendments to the Constitution so no one could exploit 18th Amendment and deny due rights to local governments.

“We have come up with a three-point solution to get Pakistan out of this crisis, including Karachi,” he said while addressing a press conference at the party headquarters. PSP president Anis Kaimkhani and others were also present.

“There is an urgent need for three constitutional amendments to the constitution. The first amendment is that the powers and departments of mayors, like the prime minister and chief ministers, should be written in the constitution. The second amendment is that the money received from the National Finance Commission (NFC) award should be devolved to districts through a provincial finance commission (PFC) and the NFC award should not be launched until the province paid the money to the districts through the PFC.

“The third amendment is that Pakistan will not have elections to the National and Provincial Assemblies until a local government council is formed.”

JI’s power show on 19th

The JI on the other hand announced that it would stage a ‘power show’ on December 19 and organise a rally titled ‘Save Karachi March’ which would be attended by prominent individuals from all walks of life.

He accused the PPP of deliberately promoting ethnicity for political gains after losing all real credibility among the masses.

“They [PPP] know they can’t go into masses for vote in the name of performance,” said JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem ur Rahman while addressing a press conference at Idara Noor-e-Haq.

“So they are left with no other option, but to use hatred and ethnicity. They want to spread it and use all machinery of the government and even the Sindh Assembly for this dirty politics. But we warn them that the people of Sindh can no longer be fooled. The ruling regime in fact believes in dictatorship and the same way it got the bill passed by the assembly without showing it to all legislators. The PPP has become a party of feudalism and getting into the assembly with the support of feudal lords wouldn’t constitute a democracy.”

Notice on Sindh CM’s threat

Meanwhile, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) reiterated its demand from the state institutions to take notice of the Sindh chief minister’s threat from the floor of the provincial assembly when during an address he had said that the people of Sindh would look for ‘other options’ if they were forced.

“This certain mindset is actually a threat to the sovereignty of the country,” said senior deputy convenor of the party Amir Khan while addressing a press conference.

“Only for political gains and to make the wrong, right and use assembly to pass the black law and to get control of all resources and finances of the urban centre, the PPP and Sindh CM have crossed all limits and started threatening the state and its sovereignty. We at the same time were surprised by the reaction from the state and waited with hope that it would sooner or later take notice of this mindset.”

Published in Dawn, December 15th, 2021

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