APC rejects amendments to Local Government Act

CARACHI:

A multi-party conference, organized by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, completely rejected revised amendments to the Sindh Local Government Act by the provincial government. This was stated in a joint statement released after the conference. MQM Pakistan Deputy Head Amir Khan presented the joint statement in the form of a resolution which was unanimously endorsed by the participants.

“The style of governance in Sindh is causing a lot of unrest among the people and has turned into a sense of alienation,” the statement said. “The Local Government Amendment Bill 2021 is the reason for this growing sense of insecurity. Therefore, in light of the current circumstances, today’s esteemed CPA gathering has come to the conclusion that the conference totally rejects the unilateral amendments to the Local Government Act by the Government of Sindh He added that the APC agreed that “the current Sindh Local Government Act 2013 and amendments thereto are in direct conflict with the Constitution of Pakistan and in flagrant violation of Article 140-A of the Constitution”.

The statement went on to say that the legislation was a contempt for democracy as well as an enemy of the people and Sindh. “Therefore, it should be removed immediately.” The parties believed that the local government system of 2013, due to its alleged manifestation of political malice and concentration of power, had become the catalyst for the worst political, economic and administrative situation in the whole district of Sindh. “This PCA demands a politically, financially and administratively fully independent system of local government, in accordance with Article 140-A of the Constitution.”

In their fifth point, the parties agreed to form an empowered committee of representatives, from all political parties, to formulate recommendations for a new local government law and send them to the assembly. They said it would be a system based on the spirit of the Constitution and in line with Pakistan’s democratic traditions, “‘It will protect the fundamental rights of the people – a system that reflects their hopes and aspirations’.”

PCA participants agreed that local communities and governments should be fully empowered politically, financially and administratively. “Just as the federal government distributes resources to the provinces through the National Finance Commission, the provinces, through the Provincial Finance Commission, should use the same formula for the distribution and provision of resources to divisions, districts, tehsils and union councils.” The parties assured that they would not stop until a full and empowered local government is formed in line with the spirit of the Constitution of Pakistan.

No more opposition

On Saturday, opposition parties in Sindh slammed the provincial PPP government for allegedly overstepping the rules to approve the revised Local Government Amendment Bill 2021 and vowed to protest such ‘unconstitutional’ moves. . This was announced by Sindh Assembly Opposition Leader Haleem Adil Sheikh, MQM-P Parliamentary Leader Muhammad Hussain, GDA MPA Arif Mustafa Jatoi and other opposition lawmakers.

Opposition MPAs were addressing the media at the Sindh Assembly Building after the approval of the LG Bill which was tabled in the house following objections from the Governor of Sindh. They also strongly censured the “undemocratic attitude” of the provincial government and the Speaker of the Sindh Assembly, Agha Siraj Durrani. Political leaders claimed that the rules of the legislature and democratic norms had been flagrantly violated. Haleem Adil Sheikh, speaking on the occasion, said that the PPP, once again, proved that it wants to impose an authoritarian “Zardarana and Sardarana” system in Sindh by denying rights and authority to representatives locally elected.

He said the Sindh Local Government Act 2013 was already against the Constitution of Pakistan. “The Sindh PPP government has further usurped the limited powers and functions of the third tier of government through controversial amendments.” Haleem observed that PPP placed and approved unconstitutional amendments which he said were in breach of assembly rules and procedures and repeated the same when the SLG Bill 2021 was brought back to the assembly for reconsideration. after objections from the governor.

“Rule 99 required a bill to be sent to the standing committee before it was tabled in the House. However, the rules have been set aside. The PPP wants a centralized mechanism for the local government system to operate one-stop shop of corruption.” Haleem said that Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah was spreading hatred and ethnic differences to prolong the PPP government. “People are fed up with their self-serving policies and will throw Zardari and company out of power in the next election.”

Pakistani leader of the Muttahida Qoumi movement, Muhammad Hussain, contradicted statements by CM Murad Ali Shah and provincial ministers Nasir Shah and Saeed Ghani regarding consultation with opposition parties. He said that if they had scheduled consultations, the two would have formed a parliamentary committee with representation from all parties sitting at home. He claimed that the Sindh assembly was not impartial and that all opposition parties pledged to resist “the dictatorial approach of the Sindh assembly where the opposition benches are deprived of their rights”. He added that the opposition would not let the government ransack the LG system.