Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani – APP (File Photo)

KARACHI: The Pakistan People’s Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement formally exchanged their draft proposals on a new local government system in Sindh on Saturday.

A meeting of the core committee of coalition parties in Sindh was held here at the Chief Minister’s House in which the MQM’s Syed Sardar Ahmed handed over a document to Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani, who also presented him with the PPP’s draft proposal on the LG system.

The PPP and the MQM have held a number of meetings since the 2010 dissolution of elected local governments in the province to hammer out a mutually acceptable LG system.

However, when the MQM parted ways with the government in June this year, the PPP revived the old commissioner system and repealed the Sindh Local Government Ordinance, 2001, by enforcing the 1979 local government law.  Later, through a gubernatorial ordinance, the 2001 LG system was revived in Sindh, but in November the ordinance completed its 90-day term and the LG system of 1979 and the commissioner system stood revived.

It was decided by the coalition parties, primarily the PPP and the MQM, that the bill of a new local government system would be tabled in the Sindh Assembly after developing a consensus among all stakeholders.

On Saturday, as part of efforts to work out a consensus formula, the core committee of the coalition parties met again in which Pakistan Muslim League-Functional leader Imtiaz Shaikh, PPP’s Pir Mazharul Haq, Law Minister Ayaz Soomro and MQM’s Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Kanwar Naveed, Wasey Jalil and Wasim Akhtar were also present.

Official sources said that the National People’s Party’s Masroor Jatoi, Awami National Party’s Amir Nawab and PML-Q leader Haleem Adil Shaikh did not attend the meeting since they were out of the city.

After exchanging the draft proposals, the participants of the meeting decided to consult their leadership on the contents of each others’ drafts and to meet again after Ashura.

Speaking to newsmen outside the CM’s House, Mr Shaikh of the PML-F said that the PPP had given its draft documents on the local government system.

He said so far the MQM, PML-F and the PPP had exchanged their draft proposals but other coalition parties were yet to get the documents.

He said that the commissioner system had been finalised and now talks were being held on finalising the LG system.