KARACHI, Sept 11: Provincial lawmakers belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, PML-Quaid-i-Azam, PML-Likeminded group and National People’s Party have appealed to the people of Sindh to make the Sept 13 strike a success and urged them to remain peaceful.
The MPAs who disassociated themselves from the coalition government following the promulgation of the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance 2012 on Tuesday gathered at Jam House, the residence of PML-F Parliamentary Party leader Jam Madad Ali in Defence Phase V, to discuss the political situation.
They criticised the government for not providing copies of the ordinance even to the lawmakers, saying that the reason for not issuing the ordinance according to reliable reports was further amendments to the relevant sections of the SPLGO.
After the meeting, Sindh PML-F General Secretary Imtiaz Ahmad Shaikh told the media that the ordinance was not acceptable to them, because the SPLGO was almost a copy of the LGO 2001 promulgated by the autocratic government of Gen Musharraf.
Besides all the eight MPAs of the PML-F, lawmakers present at the press conference were Masroor Khan Jatoi and Arif Khan Jatoi of the NPP, Shaharyar Mahar of the PML-Q and Cheetan Mal of the PML-L.
Speaking to Dawn, Jam Ali said it was the democratic right of people to respond or not respond to the strike call. “Each one of us ought to respect this right by allowing those who want to record their protest by observing the peaceful strike,” he said, adding that similarly, if others did not want to join the strike, no one had right to force them to go on strike.
In reply to a question, he said they wanted that there should be a single system of the local government for the entire province, as the dual system according to him was not acceptable to the people of Sindh.
While the government used to boast about transferring powers to the grassroots level, through this ordinance, the mayor of a metropolitan corporation had been made even more powerful than the chief minister, he said. Similarly, he added, the local government minister was debarred from interfering in the affairs of the water and sewerage board.
In reply to another question, Mr Ali said that after the strike he along with leaders of other political parties would submit an application to the Sindh Assembly speaker for allotting them seats on the opposition benches.
He also made an appeal to President Asif Ali Zardari to repeal the ordinance.
Asked why Abdul Razzaque Rahimoon, a PML-L legislator, was not present in the meeting, he said that he had gone to perform Haj, while Arbab Zulfiqar had his leg fractured. However, MPA Chetan Mal was present in the meeting to represent the PML-L.