Tessori’s future uncertain after PPP demands his removal

Published April 13, 2024
Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori talks to PPP’s Dr Asim Hussain.
—Facebook/TeamKTessori
Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori talks to PPP’s Dr Asim Hussain. —Facebook/TeamKTessori

KARACHI: The fate of Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori hangs in the balance after the Pakistan Peoples Party publicly demanded his removal from the office.

The ruling party in Sindh accused him of “creating a political divide and further widening the gap between urban and rural areas of Sindh” and asked the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led government in the Centre to remove him from the post.

Mr Tessori’s party — the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan — issued a statement in his favour and against the PPP’s demand, terming it completely “unnecessary and non-serious”.

The demand took many by surprise as Mr Tessori’s appointment as Sindh governor, who was a nominee of the MQM-P, was made with consent of all parties in the Pakistan Democratic Movement government in October 2022 a few months after the ouster of prime minister Imran Khan.

MQM-P terms Waqar Mehdi’s criticism of governor ‘non-serious’

The PPP, however, insisted that its demand was part of its deal with the PML-N under which fresh appointment of governors in all provinces was agreed while ‘failure’ of Mr Tessori to prove his ‘competence’ to serve as a representative of the federation in the province was also at play.

It all started with a statement made by senior leader of the PPP Sindh chapter who sought immediate removal of Mr Tessori.

“He [Tessori] has failed to bring an end to political and urban-rural divide. Instead of delivering his role as representative of the federation in the province, he has created more divide and further widened the gulf between urban and rural areas” said Senator Waqar Mehdi, the PPP-Sindh general secretary.

“The PML-N should decide early about the appointment of a new Sindh governor and by the time, the decision is made, the Sindh Assembly speaker can serve as the acting governor,” he demanded.

Speaking to Dawn, the PPP leader sounded more critical towards Governor Tessori than the MQM-P.

When asked about possible reaction of the party if the PML-N-led federal government decides to bring another nominee of the MQM-P to replace Tessori, Senator Mehdi said it was not PPP’s concern.

“It’s not ours’ [PPP] but their [PML-N’s] issue. They can appoint anyone they want whether anyone from the MQM-P. Our point is that when we entered into an agreement with the PML-N to support its government [in the Centre] it was decided that the governors would be replaced,” he said.

“Secondly, we all have seen the performance of Mr Tessori. He has failed as representative of the federation and it’s damaging both for the Centre and the province,” he alleged.

In response to the PPP demand, the MQM-P came up with a strong reaction. However, it underplayed the significance of Senator Mehdi by calling him only a “leader on paper within the party”.

“Waqar Mehdi doesn’t even enjoy any significance or key role in the PPP and his statement is worthless,” said provincial lawmakers belonging to the MQM-P in a statement.

“In such crisis time, the PPP should come forward with its straightforward viewpoint. The PPP should review its own 15-year governance in Sindh. It doesn’t have any right to comment on the performance of the Sindh governor,” they added.

Meanwhile, later, a meeting between the governor and Dr Asim Hussain, a close aide to President Asif Ali Zardari and senior PPP leader, at the Governor House generated speculations about the future of Mr Tessori.

However, both Governor House and the spokesman for Dr Hussain claimed that the meeting had no political agenda.

“Dr Asim only came to extend Eid greetings to Governor Tessori. The meeting should not be presented in any other aspect,” said a Governor House statement following almost a similar ‘clarification’ issued by a spokesman for Dr Hussain.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2024

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