KARACHI - The ruling PPP on Wednesday shared the proposed draft of new law of local government system 2012 with its other allied parties-PML-F, PML-Q and ANP and it would be enforced through promulgation of ordinance at any time.

After reservations expressed by the allied parties over ignoring them in negotiations under process between ruling PPP and MQM on drafting of new law of Sindh Local Government Act 2012, the PPP, which is on driving seat, realised the heat and started consultation with other allied parties.

Parliamentary leader of ruling PPP and Senior Minister for Education Pir Mazharul Haq held a meeting of allies at CM Secretariat, which was attended by PML-F leader and Advisor to CM for Special Education Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh, PML-Q leader and advisor to CM for Relief Department Haleem Adil Shaikh, while ANP was represented by provincial Minister for Labour Department Amir Nawab, Rana Gul Afridi and Altaf Khan of ANP.  An official statement issued from CM House said the coalition partners of provincial government - PML-F, ANP and PML-Q were taken onboard and their view points, proposals and suggestions with regard to draft of Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2012 were discussed in detail by a senior member of PPP Core Committee Pir Mazharul Haq in the meeting.

Pir Mazharul Haq said that the draft ordinance has previously been discussed with all coalition partners and before finalisation all coalition partners of government will be taken into confidence. The representatives of allied parties, PML-F’s Imtiaz Shaikh, ANP’s Ameer Nawab and PML-Q’s Haleem Adil Shaikh presented their view points and proposed certain amendments in the proposed Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2012 and hoped that the same will be accommodated accordingly.

When contacted, PML-Q leader and Provincial Advisor to CM for Relief Department Haleem Adil Shaikh told TheNation that on behalf of his party he submitted recommendations that the uniform local government system be enforced in the province.

Sharing the recommendation of his party, the PML-Q leader further said that he had suggested that the subject of law and order and administration must be remained under control of commissioners and deputy commissioners, while development issues be given to the elected representatives of local/district governments.  The PML-Q in its recommendations has strongly opposed the devolution of police, revenue and other provincial subjects to the local/district governments and demanded of the present PPP government to retain these with provincial government.

However, PML-F leader Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh said that he will share the proposed ordinance of local government law with his leadership, then he can talk on the issue. It may be noted that the PML-F has already advocated for existing local government system of 1979. Similarly, the ANP also rejected the proposed new law of local government and demanded that the existing system of 1979 local government must be retained. The ANP leaders in their suggestions have opposed the devolution of provincial departments to the local governments. Sources privy to the meetings told TheNation that the ruling PPP in its proposal of draft ‘Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2012’ has suggested the increased number of metropolitan corporations in five districts including Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Larkana and Mirpurkhas, which are to be headed by the elected Mayors and Deputy Mayors instead of Nazims and Naib Nazims, while District Councils to be run under district chairman and vice chairman in the new law.

Regarding demand of MQM to devolve powers of provincial departments to the local/district governments, sources said that ruling PPP has rejected the demand of Muttahida for devolution of police and revenue/lands to the district governments, however, some powers of other provincial departments would be devolved to the district/local governments.

Sources further said that the in the new proposed local government ordinance 2012, the ruling PPP and MQM has developed consensus that some subjects in education, health and other provincial departments including schools which currently run under the municipal corporations/district governments to be devolved to them, while remaining subjects would be retained at provincial government.

Similarly, in health departments, the Rural Health Units and Basic Health Units would run under municipal/district governments, while remaining subjects would remain under control of provincial government.

Meanwhile, the legal experts of PPP and MQM on Wednesday also sat and deliberated on some issues, on which both parties have opposite opinion; however sources confirmed that overall the two parties have agreed on to major issues of devolution of powers of some provincial ‘matters’ to the local governments.

Meanwhile, the nationalist parties also rejected the proposed new law of local government system and organised a joint meeting under the banner of ‘Save Sindh Committee’ with SUP chief Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah at his residence of Hyder Manzil on Friday in Karachi.

The nationalist leaders of the province will participate in the meeting.

Besides, the Awami Tehreek, which is starting its ‘Mohbat-e-Sindh Train March’ today from Karachi to Islamabad and will stage sit-in on September 10 in front of Parliament House on September 10 in Islamabad against anti-Sindh steps of Sindh government including proposed new law of local government.

Japanese stamps exhibited: On the occasion of 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Pakistan, precious Japanese and Pakistani stamps were displayed at the Consulate General of Japan.

Those stamps are part of collection of Arif Balgamwala, President of Pakistan Philatelic & Numismatic Forum.

Masaharu Sato, Consul General of Japan, and Balgamwala cut the ribbon, and the flamed logo mark of 60th anniversary of friendship were presented to Masharu Sato by Arif Balgamwala.