Joint opposition launches agitation against LG law in most Sindh districts

Published January 13, 2022
ACTIVISTS and supporters of the joint opposition in Sindh hold a demonstration against LG law outside Hyderabad Press Club on Wednesday.—Dawn
ACTIVISTS and supporters of the joint opposition in Sindh hold a demonstration against LG law outside Hyderabad Press Club on Wednesday.—Dawn

KARACHI: Three opposition entities in Sindh — Muttahida Qaumi Move­ment (MQM-P), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) — launched its agitation rallies in many districts except for Karachi’s, on Wednesday against the recently enacted local government law and called for its immediate repeal.

The protests were organised by the joint opposition in the headquarters of Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Badin, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Umerkot and several other district.

HYDERABAD: MQM-P, PML-F and PTI held a noisy demonstration outside local press club to condemn the Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Addressing the participants, MQM-P deputy convener Syed Sohail Mush’hadi said that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had a history of producing black laws.

He said that PPP’s majority in Sindh Assembly was due to the “fake census” which had underreported population of Sindh’s urban areas.

He said PPP had always tried to push MQM-P against the wall and now this “black” law was being used against the party.

PPP accused of plotting bloodshed, ethnic riots

He accused PPP of conspiring to separate Sindh from Pakistan. He alleged that PPP intended to execute its plan of bloodshed and ethnic riots.

“This black law will harm Sindh and all other political parties,” he warned, and said MQM-P would hold sit-ins in every city of Sindh.

PTI leader Dr Mustansir Billah said that the Mohajirs who came to Pakistan after the Partition did not occupy any Sindhi brother’s house, rather they were settled on evacuee properties as per the relevant law.

He claimed that [PPP founder chairman] Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had abolished competitive examinations and, instead, introduced a new system because most CSP officers then were Mohajirs and “he [Mr Bhutto] never liked them”.

Dr Billah said that Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari lied in the assembly that Sindh government was providing 90pc budget to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) and added that in fact philanthropists of Karachi and Hyderabad were extending donations to the institution. He recalled that PTI supporters had also recently provided 14 acres of land and millions of rupees to SIUT founder Dr Adib Rizvi.

MPA Rashid Khilji said that PPP had dismembered Pakistan and hijacked a plane. He also accused PPP of having patronised Lyari gang warfare.

He said PPP used ‘democracy’ for its objectives. If the new LG law was an ideal one, then it should have been referred to a committee for vetting, but PPP got it passed on the basis of its majority, he argued.

He said that this law was in conflict with Article 140-A of the Constitution. He alleged that PPP used to sell jobs through the Sukkur IBA and Sindh Public Service Commission.

“Sindh’s budget runs into billions but the entire province is without basic amenities,” he observed, and pointed out that the questions relating to the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) in the Sindh Assembly had remained unanswered since 2019 and this was how the assembly was being run.

MPA Khilji said that PPP was not willing to provide land for a federal university for which a bill was adopted in the National Assembly.

PML-F vice president Khizar Hayat Mangrio and district general secretary Rafiq Magsi also condemned the LG law and said that PPP always believed in lingual politics.

They urged the provincial government to get it repealed immediately.

Powers transferred to LGs as per Constitution: PPP

HYDERABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Sindh information secretary Ajiz Dhamra has said that protest by the opposition parties in the province proved that these elements have nothing to do with the welfare of people.

In his rejoinder to Wednesday’s protest by Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) outside the local press club, Dhamra said that the Article 140-A of the Constitution directed provinces to enforce a local government system and transfer political, financial and administrative powers to elected representatives.

He said that in line with this Article, the Sindh government recently passed the LG law and transferred powers accordingly. He said that considering people’s aspirations, the law was approved by the Sindh cabinet and then PPP got it adopted at the Sindh Assembly with a thumping majority.

He said that PPP government had asked its opponents to submit their proposals for a local government system and then the LG minister once again assured Jamaat-i-Islami that latter’s suggestions would be incorporated in the new law.

On the other hand, he said, GDA and its ally ruling PTI had promulgated an ordinance to introduce an LG system in Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that PPP was elected in LG polls on the basis of the previous law and the party would sweep the elections to be held under the new law which would be reflection of masses’ approval to the law. He said that people of Sindh would once again reject PPP opponents.

Published in Dawn, January 13th, 2022

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