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

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

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

Senior MQM-P leader Mohammad Hussain Khan in conversation with Bol News. Photo: Athar Khan/Bol News 


KARACHI: Mohammad Hussain Khan, a senior member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), joined the then Mohajir Qaumi Movement’s student wing, the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organization (APMSO) in 1983 in Mirpurkhas.

Later on, he joined the MQM in 1984 and worked as the joint unit in charge and the joint organizer at the Sindh University in Hyderabad till 1988. Then he moved to Karachi, and contested six elections from different constituencies of the provincial capital and succeeded in getting the portfolio of local bodies. Currently Hussain is a member of the MQM-P’s Rabita Committee, a post that he has been holding since 2015.

Read more: Sindh Local Government Amendment Bill 2021 passed amidst ruckus

The senior politician discussed a host of issues concerning urban Sindh while talking to Bol News.

Q: Why is the MQM vehemently protesting on the local bodies (LB) amended bill? 


As we know the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has been involved in poll rigging for long. The PPP has a history of buying votes, and has used the same unfair approach while passing the LB amended bill. As per the amendment, any person who is not elected by the council could be a mayor of Karachi. It is absurd, because if this bill becomes law, then the so-called secret balloting would enable a non-elected person to become the mayor of Karachi. It would pave the way for the PPP to buy votes in upcoming elections.

Q: What should be done then? 

We are not the only ones who have expressed reservations regarding the bill. All the political parties have joined hands against the PPP’s anti- democratic stance, but as MQM activists we are strongly protesting for the empowerment of local government bodies. We want a cosmopolitan corporation in Karachi just like advanced cities of the world such as New York, Paris, London, Manchester, Kolkata and Dhaka. All these cities have the requisite powers to excel. They are enjoying the third tier of democracy in the real sense. A powerless mayor cannot solve the problems of the public.

Read more: Sindh Local Bodies bill stirs up storm

Q: What is a cosmopolitan corporation? 

Article 140-A of the Constitution has directed all the provincial governments to establish local government bodies. But for the last 10 years, the PPP has tried [its] level best to ensure that local government elections don’t take place as they are not interested in giving due share to the people of Karachi. There is a dearth of development projects, mass transport system, and even the health facilities are scarce. The government schools have been ruined and the foreseeable future is also bleak. This is the reason the MQM-P has pushed for a powerful mayor, instead of a rubber stamp, who gets elected by the votes of the people of Karachi — a powerful cosmopolitan corporation is a solution to all the problems.


Q: Was there any powerful city district government in the past?

Up till 2007 there was a powerful city district government in which the mayor had all the powers. The nazims of MQM carried out development works at a vast level and the progress of Karachi was recognized internationally. And now, the rulers of Sindh want to establish powerless town system. Actually, the PPP Karachi wants to destabilize Karachi’s largest political party, because majority residents here [have not historically voted for the] PPP. They are appointing people from interior Sindh and taking away job opportunities from the Karachiites, which is intolerable.

Q: What do you think is the modus operandi of the PPP? 

In August, the PPP had [tasked] its workers to appoint the DMCs’ and KMC’s staff from interior Sindh. Now they want to capture all working of city district government by appointing people from the rural areas. In the amended bill, they had even grabbed the milk supply contract from the local government, and the slaughterhouse functions would also lie with the Sindh government, as per the amendment.

Read more: Shortage of resources impacting local govt bodies performance, claims Ghani

Q: What does the MQM-P intend to do? 


The MQM will be organizing an all-parties conference on December 11, and in connection with this an immediate communication with all the political parties has been made. The MQM-P will also be organizing protests in different parts of the city. We are trying to unite all those who want stability in the city.

Q: Is there any coordination among the different factions of MQM? 

The MQM is still [a] single entity I clarify, and there is no other faction of the party. Mustafa Kamal is running his own party, MQM Haqiqi has its own party manifesto since the last 30 years, while Dr Farooq Sattar has no party at all. However, Dr Ishratul Ibad is very much a member of the MQM-P. The people of Karachi have always cherished the local political giants. They believe in us and have always cast their vote [for] the kite. The MQM is the actual representative party of the people of Karachi. I invite all those who had left the party over differences with the [leadership] to come back to us and serve the people of Karachi. It is the last hope of the locals. The Dubai rendezvous of Farooq Sattar and Dr Ishratul Ibad was just a meeting of old friends. The media had created a hype by highlighting the Dubai episode

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