Sindh Local Bodies bill stirs up storm  

Sindh Local Bodies bill stirs up storm  

Sindh Local Bodies bill stirs up storm  

A photo of the SIndh Assembly. Photo: Athar Khan/Bol News


KARACHI: There is a general impression in the city that efforts to unite different factions of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) are being made at a time when the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has passed the Sindh Local Bodies (LB) Government (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the provincial assembly recently.

The opposition parties including the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), the MQM-P and the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal have all rejected the amended Bill, and in order to record protest against it, boycotted the assembly proceedings.

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

A senior MQM leader requesting anonymity minced no words while expressing his views regarding the Bill. He said “I don’t know what they are up to, there would be a chaos, maybe even bloodshed, if the province’s ruling party tries to enforce the amended Bill”.

At the MQM-P’s temporary head office in Karachi’s Bahadurabad area, the senior leader apprised Bol News that Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui of the MQM-P has called upon all the political activists of the city to stage a protest against the Bill.


“Maybe it is high time for all the opposition parties to join hands against the PPP’s nefarious designs”, he also said.

The amendment

According to the amended bill, any person could be elected by the council as mayor, deputy mayor, chairman and vice chairman but according to the Sindh Local Government Act, 2013, only elected members would be eligible for the aforementioned designations.

However, with the latest amendment, an indirect election through secret balloting would be done instead of open voting in the house to elect mayor and other office bearers.

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

The Bill has deprived the local government institutions of functions like education and health as they now would only deal with municipal functions such as water, sanitation and garbage disposal.


The bill has also abolished district municipal corporations (DMCs) in the urban parts of the province, replacing them with town municipal corporations.

Syed Nasir Hussain Shah (PPP)

While talking to the media from the assembly floor, Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said the Sindh government has taken the step to empower the LG institutions through this Bill as per the vision of the PPP’s chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.

Justifying the urgency of tabling the amended bill he said the Election Commission of Pakistan had given the provincial government a time frame for holding the LG election.

Read more: PPP’s wrong choices

The minister claimed that the provincial government had consulted all major parties including the PTI, the MQM-P and the Jamaat-i-Islami before tabling the amended Bill, and the opposition’s proposals were available on record. “We have incorporated their recommendations in the bill”, he added.


He criticised the opposition members for boycotting the assembly proceedings despite an assurance of a mutual discussion with regard to their reservations on the Bill. “They just want to oppose the Bill without going through the details”, he said.

Shah has assured that changes can still be made in the Bill.

Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui (MQM-P)

While addressing a press conference at the MQM-P head office in Karachi, senior leader of the party Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said they are now forced to take to the streets for their rights. “Now protestors will be on the streets of Karachi, and it will have a countrywide impact”, he also said.

Siddiqui also announced to convene an all-parties conference on December 11 over the issue of local bodies bill approved by the Sindh Assembly.

He said the recently passed amendments in the LB Bill have paralyzed the local bodies system in Karachi.


“The PPP has never ruled in the urban centres of Sindh province, and the current legislation is aimed at crystalizing their agenda of Sindhudesh”, Siddiqui alleged.

Read more: MQM-P announces APC on Dec 11 to ‘save Karachi’

“How could we allow the ‘racist’ Sindh government to ruin the institutions that had been built with the revenue generated from Karachi”, he added.

Siddiqui has asked the chief justice to take notice of the matter regarding the non-implementation of Article 140-A of the Constitution that requires the installation of an empowered local bodies system.

Syed Mustafa Kamal (PSP)

The Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) has challenged the Local Government Amendment Act in the Sindh High Court. Mr Kamal while talking to the media said the PPP is engaged in activities that are against the nation’s interests.


Asif Zardari and Bilawal Zardari’s PPP do not adhere to the 1973 Constitution presented by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he added. In a move to humiliate the people of Karachi, the PPP has snatched all the institutions and powers from the local bodies, Kamal said.

The PPP’s proposed local government system is a clear violation of Articles 7, 8, 32 and 140-A of the Constitution and is a disgrace to democracy, the head of PSP said.

Read more: PSP to challenge Sindh Local Bodies Act in SHC

“If the tabled Bill becomes a law, the storm that will rise from Karachi will pose a threat to national security”, feared Kamal.

Adding further he said if the rulers have decided to push our backs to the ropes, let them hear that 30 million Karachiites will react to the tyranny. This black law of the PPP should be considered a matter of national survival, Kamal emphasized.

Already all the powers and resources remain with the chief minister of the province, and with the controversially amended Bill, the last nail in the coffin has been driven by the provincial rulers.


Hafiz Naeem-Ur-Rehman (JI)

The Jamaat-i-Islami has staged sit-ins at 11 places across Karachi in protest against the LB’s amended Bill.

JI city chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman while condemning the Sindh government’s move with regard to tabling the Bill in the assembly last week, said the sit-ins across the city are against the “dictatorial thinking, fascism and occupation of the cosmopolitan” by the ruling PPP.

He vowed to continue the demonstrations and said that a historic ‘Karachi Rescue March’ will be held in the city on Dec 12.

Read more: Hafiz Naeem demands forming commission to probe china-cutting

He said citizens of Larkana, Jacobabad and other parts of Sindh have also taken to the streets in protest against the Bill.


He accused the PPP of not sharing the draft of the Bill with the members of the assembly. Democracy does not exist in the PPP, the party has nothing to do with Karachi, said the JI leader. The PPP has been ruling Sindh for 14 consecutive years, but is yet to deliver the goods for the largest city of the country, he added.

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