The leaders of both the Pakistan People’s Party and Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) have urged the other concerned Opposition political parties to sit with the Sindh government to hold talks for the amicable resolution of the controversy related to the local government system in the province instead of doing street agitation on the issue merely for the sake of political point-scoring.
The PPP and MWM leaders put forth this advice to other concerned political parties in Sindh while jointly addressing a press conference on Friday after the leaders of the two parties held talks mainly on the contentious issue of the provincial local government system and other issues of public interest.
The leaders of the two parties said the Sindh government was always ready to listen to and consider the reservations of different parties about the provincial system of municipal governance but in no way the demand of reviving the Local Government Ordinance of 2001 belonging to the dictatorial regime of Pervez Musharraf would be accepted.
Speaking at the press conference, Sindh Information and Labour Minister, Saeed Ghani, who took part in the talks on behalf of the ruling PPP, expressed gratitude to the leadership of MWM for providing them with the opportunity of doing a consultation on the issue of local government law.
He said the PPP had intended to attend the all parties’ conference earlier convened by the MWM but couldn’t do so owing to its certain pre-occupations.
He said that a detailed discussion had been held with the MWM leadership on the issue of municipal governance in Sindh.
He said the PPP agreed to a large extent to the points raised by the MWM to improve the local government system in Sindh.
He told media persons that the Sindh government of PPP had been working to resolve issues being faced by the residents of Karachi.
Saeed Ghani conceded the situation that still much work was needed to be done to resolve issues of Karachi and the rest of Sindh.
He was of the view that the agitation drive launched by certain political parties in Sindh on the local government system was meant to raise their political stature and also to divert the attention of people of Sindh away from genuine public issues.
He said the provincial government had recently amended the Sindh Local Government Act-2013 in order to further accelerate the process of devolution of powers to the grassroots level.
He said the revival of the Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2001 pertaining to the past dictatorial regime in the country was not possible in the province at any cost.
He advised the concerned Opposition parties in the province to use the forum of the Sindh Assembly to put forth their suggestions to improve the provincial local government law instead of doing agitation on the roads of Karachi.
To a question, Sindh Information Minister recalled that late Abdul Sattar Afghani had become mayor of Karachi under the local government system of 1979 during the then military regime of General Ziaul Haq.
He said the local government system of 1979 apart from a few amendments had been mainly derived from the regime of municipal governance introduced by PPP founder, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, in 1972 but the local government polls couldn’t be held in the country during the Bhutto’s rule.
Speaking on the occasion, MWM leader, Ali Hussain Naqvi, said that the development and progress of Karachi simply meant the development and progress of the entire country.
He said they believed that the PPP had been moving ahead with the honesty of purpose to cordially resolve the issues concerning the local government system in Sindh.
He said the MWM had also been given assurance by the Sindh government to incorporate all the practical and positive suggestions into the provincial local government law to safeguard the legitimate public interest.
Regarding the protest sit-in of Jamat-e-Islami (JI) continuing outside Sindh Assembly for the past 20 days, the MWM leader said that they had urged the Sindh government to hold talks with the JI leadership on the provincial municipal system keeping in view their prolonged agitation also being participated by the woman supporters of the party.