Erstwhile political foes in Karachi join forces against new LG bill passed by PPP

Erstwhile political foes in Karachi join forces against new LG bill passed by PPP

Erstwhile political foes in Karachi join forces against new LG bill passed by PPP

JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman and Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab. Photo: Athar Khan/Bol News/File


KARACHI: Politics in Sindh has feverishly been revolving around the Local Government (Amendment) Bill, 2021 which was passed with a majority by the PPP-dominated provincial assembly last month and returned to the legislature by the governor earlier this week without assent. Conferences, protests and meetings have been organised by opposition parties to chalk out strategies to counter the move made by Sindh’s ruling party.

Leaders of the opposition parties believe that usurping the key functions of Karachi’s city administration through amendments could not be tolerated and there was a need to take action to break the ‘monopoly’ of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the province.

They also believe that the differences among political parties should be set aside for the benefit of the people of Karachi.

Read more: Sindh Cabinet includes changes ‘advised’ by governor in LG law

The city’s known rival parties Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM) have shown interest to hold a protest against the local government (LG) amendment bill. This decision was particularly aimed at the PPP.


In fact so intense has the opposition’s criticism of the amendments been that PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari was forced to admit the bill was passed in “haste”, while adding that the Sindh government was ready to talk to other political parties regarding the new law.

In further developments, Karachi Administrator and Sindh government spokesman Murtaza Wahab announced on Twitter that the provincial cabinet had approved the amendments to the SLGA 2013 as advised by the Sindh governor.

JI Karachi ameer Hafiz Naeemur Rehman told Bol News that Sindh’s ministers and representatives of the provincial government should stop fooling the people.

The PPP-led Sindh government is doing injustice and depriving the people of their rights, he commented. “The attitude and behaviour of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the federation has also been hostile towards Karachi.”

He further said that the ‘fake’ census in which half the population of Karachi had “disappeared” was approved by the PTI-led government while the quota system had also been extended indefinitely which was not good for the people of Karachi in any way.

Read more: Muttahida leader questions PPP’s intentions behind new LG amendment bill


He believed that no party other than the ruling PPP was in favour of this bill.

He stated that JI had rejected this “black” local bodies law and after protests, sit-ins and commemoration of a ‘black day’, they were to hold a “historic and grand Karachi Rescue March” on December 12 near the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) head office on M.A. Jinnah Road.

“Jamaat-i-Islami will take all kinds of constitutional, legal, political and democratic measures against the unconstitutional and undemocratic measures of the PPP and Sindh government. We will fight the case of the people of Karachi on the streets against this black law,” he commented.

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) chief Mustafa Kamal claimed that there was an attempt to paralyse and make ineffective the local bodies of Sindh, including those of Karachi, which cannot be accepted under any circumstances.

Read more: Sindh Local Bodies bill stirs up storm

Too many problems


He added that with a population of over 30 million, the city suffers from numerous problems and difficulties. “The serious problems of the city including electricity, water, sewerage, transport, health and education are not being solved. Solutions to all the problems of Karachi are related to the status of a metropolitan city. However, unfortunately the PPP has reduced the powers instead of increasing the powers in the current LG bill, and in this way [increasing] its control over Karachi’s resources and civic institutions.”

PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman said that the Sindh Assembly passed a “black law” in the name of LG amendment bill. “We have been fighting for the betterment of the LG system for four years. The Sindh government had promised us that they would bring a re-empowered system. However, unfortunately the bill was … powerless.”

Zaman said that all the stakeholders of Karachi were being invited to participate in the conference on Dec 12. “We want all the stakeholders of Karachi to unite against the LG ordinance. The LG issues are not a political issue but a common man’s issue. Strengthening LG takes time. We will raise our voice in the National Assembly against this ordinance.

Read more: JI wants ECP to hold LG elections in Sindh immediately

“The LG ordinance is not in the interest of the people but in the interest of the PPP itself. To record the protest, MQM also held a protest … against the bill.”

MQM-P senior deputy convener Amir Khan commented that Sindh government had passed every local body bill on the basis of ‘fake majority’. “MQM-Pakistan (MQM-P) and Sindh’s people are protesting against the new local body bill. Our people will not be intimidated by the threats of false FIRs by the Sindh government. They do not vote for them. On the occasion of Sindh Culture Day, slogans of Sindhudesh were spread all over Karachi.”


“The PPP is also involved in language-related riots in Sindh. For four years, the mayor of MQM-P [had] been asking for resources but the Sindh government [had] not given him any powers. PPP does not represent the rural people of Sindh but represents the feudal lords and vassals,” he alleged.

He added that a unanimous resolution will be passed in the all-parties conference on the new LG bill on Dec 11.

“MQM-P will organise an all-parties conference to bring all the political parties together on one platform. The time has come. Instead of talking to MQM-P to discuss the bill, the bill has been passed by a fake majority. PPP enjoys NFC but does not implement PFC. More than 300,000 jobs in 13 years … were sold to the people of Sindh.”

Earlier, MQM’s Kanwar Naveed Jameel with a delegation also met Hafiz Naeemur Rehman and invited him to participate in the all-parties conference on Dec 11.

Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab, while speaking on behalf of PPP, told Bol News that Mustafa Kamal wanted him to say something so that he could reply.

Read more: Sindh Local Bodies Act to put Karachi on path of progress, says Bilawal


“This is not Karachi of 1990 and this is not Karachi of May 12,” he remarked.

He also asked MQM-P convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui to stop the “politics of segregation”. He pointedly asked MQM-P why it had been in the coalition in the centre for three-and-a-half years. “What has Prime Minister Imran Khan done for this city? The premier did not even listen to MQM-P’s census demand.”

Sindh Minister for LG Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, in response to comments from MQM representatives, stated that the MQM rally was the result of frustration and political manoeuvring. “PM Khan has appointed MQM ministers as daily wages minister. MQM accepted Musharraf’s LG system but not that of PPP. MQM’s real goal is to take over the LG system from which they can extort money. In their tenure, MQM ruined KMC, water board, KMC hospitals and educational institutions,” claimed the minister.

“Today’s KMC teachers, doctors and other staff are also deprived of pensions as they have devoured the pension fund of the staff of health and educational institutions. We have made arrangements with the Sindh government to improve the education and health facilities of the people of Karachi,” he said.

MQM knows that they will not run in the coming local bodies elections so they are making noise, the provincial LG minister remarked.

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