KARACHI - Following the threat by MQM to quit the government and sit on opposition benches with the PML-N, the ruling PPP in fresh deliberations agreed to accept ‘some’ of the demands of its ally in the new law for the local government system in Sindh, which is likely to be enforced through promulgation of an ordinance.

But, negotiations between the two parties were still in progress on Tuesday night to convince each other on various issues in the proposed ‘Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Ordinance 2012’, in which powers of some of the provincial departments are likely to be devolved to local/district governments.

Moreover, no ordinance was issued despite the repeated claims by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, who earlier in the day had said that the document had been finalised and ordinance will be issued by the evening. The meeting between the two partners was in progress at the Governor’s House to finalise the new law till the filing of this report.

Meanwhile, the ruling PPP started contacts with other allies - PML-F, ANP and NPP - to take them into confidence on the issue, after they expressed strong resentment over the possible PPP-MQM deal.

The PPP and MQM leaders, who were at Governor’s House to give final touches to the proposed Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2012, contacted PML-F leader Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh, ANP Sindh chief Shahi Syed and NPP leader Masoor Jatoi and briefed them on the negotiations on local government law.

It was expected that the Governor may issue the ordinance late Tuesday night or on Wednesday (today), but PPP leader Pir Mazhar in his conversation with the PML-F leader assured him that no new law would come into effect without the approval and consultation of PML-F chief Pir Pagara.

PPP leader Agha Siraj Durrani phoned Shahi Syed and assured him that his party would not take any final step without taking all allies into confidence on the new legislation.

Sources said the PPP had agreed to accommodate the MQM’s demands to bring Local Government Law 2012, which would be nearer to the 2001 local government system of Musharraf.

However, the issuance of ordinance delayed as ruling PPP started fresh efforts to its other ally parties - PML-F, ANP and NPP – on board. It is likely that the PPP delegation will meet PML-F chief Sibghatullah Shah Rashedi (Pir Pagara) today for the purpose.

After his second meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari at Bilawal House, the presidential camp office in city, during the last 24 hours, Ishratul Ebad told media persons that a consensus had been developed on the new local government law.

He claimed the ‘Sindh Local Government (Amendment) Ordinance 2012’ would be issued any time on Tuesday night as both the parties had already developed consensus, under which a uniform system of local bodies would be enforced in the province.

He further said the local government polls would be held before general elections.

A PPP minister, who has been privy to the recent development, told TheNation that the MQM delegation during meeting with President Zardari on Monday threatened to quit the ruling coalition and sit on opposition benches, if old local government system of Pervez Musharraf was not reinforced in the province immediately.

The threat of leaving the coalition compelled the ruling PPP to again engage MQM for a consensus ‘solution’ of the issue.

The leaders of the PPP led by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and MQM team headed by Ishratul Ebad were busy in finalising the local government law 2012, which would be ‘nearer’ to the district governments’ system of Musharraf, which promulgated in 2001.

Though the talks between two parties on new law were almost finalized, they have still opposite stance for devolving of powers of provincial departments including police, revenue, education, health and others to the district governments.

Despite repeated attempts, the PPP ministers were not ready to talk about the reports whether the ruling party was ready to withdraw from its earlier stance of not devolving powers of the provincial departments.

The nationalist parties as well as supporters of the ruling PPP also do not favour revival of Musharraf’s system, in which, the authority of the provincial governments were devolved to the district nazims.

Earlier, the PPP leaders and its legal minds met at the CM’s Secretariat, with Qaim Ali Shah in the chair, where they discussed the draft of the proposed law.

In the presence of provincial law secretary Ghulam Nabi Shah, Sindh Advocate General Abdul Fatah Malik, who was busy in the hearing of a case at the Supreme Court Karachi Registry, was summoned at the CM’s House for legal consultation.

The PPP team also met with Faryal Talpur, sister of President Zardari, and discussed the draft ordinance. Later, they jointly met with President Zardari at the Bilawal House and briefed him on the progress and stance of two parties on issue.

Meanwhile, other coalition partners - ANP, PML-F, PML-Q and NPP - were not taken into confidence about the negotiations being held between the PPP and the MQM.

Senator Shahi Syed warned that the ANP would oppose and resist if any local government ordinance was issued on the matter.

Similarly, Pir Pagara also expressed reservations over the issue and said his party was not taken confidence about what two parties - PPP and MQM - were negotiating.

However, the nationalist parties chiefs - including Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah of Sindh United Party, Ayaz Latif Palijo of Awami Tehreek and others - have threaten to launch mass movement against the ruling PPP if it revived the Musharraf’s local government system in the province.