LARKANA, Oct 11: Sindh Minister for Law and Prisons Ayaz Soomro has said the people behind incidents of hurling bombs at and planting explosive devices near the houses of PPP lawmakers and leaders are trying to stir up civil war in Sindh.

He said at a press conference at the circuit house here on Thursday that he was ready for a public debate with ‘political pundits’ and would prove to them that nowhere in the Sindh People’s Local Government Act the words ‘dual system’ were written.

These ‘political pundits’ were hatching conspiracies under the umbrella of Takht-i-Lahore against the country, the PPP and the democracy, he alleged, adding the elements who could not tolerate Z.A. Bhutto as prime minister could not tolerate President Asif Ali Zardari either.

He said that poets, writers and intellectuals who were participating in the protests against the local government law were being remotely controlled and many of them had been removed from their positions.

Mr Soomro did not rule out the possibility of amendments to the law and said that if amendments could be made to the constitution then why not to this document.

He said the 13 assembly members who had boycotted the law could now table amendments and the party was ready to consider them.

The bill was brought into the assembly after marathon discussions with allies which had gone on for two and a half years, he said.

He said that he invited the opponents

of the law to talks and assured them of allaying their reservations and objections if they had any.

“We have faith in democracy and believe in people’s right to dissent, hold public meetings and gatherings but no one is above the law and the law breakers won’t be allowed to get away with their crime,” said the minister.

He said the PPP was planning to hold a public meeting in Hyderabad on Oct 15. He said the opponents were using ‘filthy’ language during their protest but PPP leaders would not respond in the same manner.

Mr Soomro claimed that all political parties were taken into confidence before tabling the bill and asked opponents why they had remained tight-lipped and shut their eyes to the ‘dual system’ first imposed by Gen Zia and then by Gen Musharraf and why they were in the streets only against the PPP government.

In a tit for tat reaction, he said, PPP workers could also hang frying pans and bangles outside the residences of nationalists but the party would not stoop that low because it had always respected the other opinion.

Addressing the opponents, the minister said would they not participate in the local government elections under the new system and would they not sit with the MQM representatives after winning polls.

Larkana Commissioner Dr Saeed Ahmed Mangnejo, DIG Abdul Khalique Shaikh, Deputy Commissioner Assadulah Abro, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Akbar Haider Soomro and local PPP leader Khair Mohammad Shaikh also attended the press conference.

HYDERABAD: The central body of the Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) has condemned the language used by PPP ministers against nationalists.

Current protests baffled ministers and they were targeting nationalists instead of withdrawing the law, observed a meeting of the STP central body on Thursday.

The meeting, presided over by Dr Qadir Magsi, was held to discuss the political situation of Sindh in the wake of the new local government law.

Hyder Shahani, Dr Rajab Memon, Nand Lal Malhi and Dr Soomar Mangrio attended it.

The meeting paid tribute to the people of Sindh for supporting the current agitation against the local government law, saying that the remnants of the Zia and Musharraf regimes had paved the way for the division of Sindh. This was clear treachery with the province, it said and rejected the law.

The meeting warned the PPP ministers to refrain from using such language because it would yield negative results.

The meeting supported public meetings announced by the Sindh Bachayo Committee in Badin and Tando Mohammad Khan.

STP’s women wing would hold a meeting at party’s hunger strike camp at Nasim Nagar.