KARACHI: Brushing aside an impression that the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) was demanding restoration of the local government law of either Gen Ziaul Haq or Gen Perevez Musharraf, the party on Wednesday made it clear that it wanted the enforcement of the law of 1972 actually called “Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance, 1972”.

The JI said it was architected and imposed by former prime minister and Pakistan Peoples Party founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the country’s president, commander-in-chief and the first civilian chief martial law administrator.

Talking to reporters on the 20th day of the party’s sit-in outside the Sindh Assembly, Karachi JI chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman strongly criticised Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for “misguiding the people of the province” and only protecting his “flawed and black law” under the “cover of fake democracy”.

He said the Sindh local government law of 1972 empowered the municipal system, authorised it for revenue generation and made elected persons true representative of democracy at the grassroots level.

“You (Syed Murad Ali Shah) are the chief minister so please have some grace for this office,” he said. “Who has insisted for Musharraf’s or Zia’s laws? I challenge you to prove your claim. And let me make it clear and take this another challenge — implement the 1972 law which is called Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance. It was made and implemented none other than the PPP founder Bhutto.”

He went on to say: “We have been historically different parties, but the JI feel no hesitation to accept that it [1972] was the law which had truly empowered the local government system.”

In a recent interaction with the media, CM Shah had claimed that the opposition parties, including the JI, protesting against the new LG law and were demanding “Musharraf’s LG system” which was not possible.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2022

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