KARACHI - Speakers at a conference on “Sindh Agenda for Elections 2013” has demanded that local government system should be made and implemented in Sindh on the basis of global democratic norms and practices under which jurisdiction of local governments should be limited to offer civic amenities and social services to citizens.

The event was organised by the Sindh Writers and Thinkers Forum at Karachi Press Club on Saturday.

The speakers called upon the people of Sindh to ensure mechanism of asking questions and accountability to the representatives in elections.

Writer and political analyst Jami Chandio, Shaukat Shoro, Raht Sindhi, Bedal Masroor, Akash Ansari, Isthiaq Ansari, Naseem Memon, Inam Shaikh, Zulfikar Halepoto, Mehtab Akbar Rashdi and others were the speakers of the event.

The speakers of the conference congratulated the people of Sindh for their struggle, which compelled the PPP government to repeal the controversial SPLGA 2012.

They demanded that delimitation of constituencies in Karachi should be done anew to ensure equal, just and genuine representation of people in electoral process.

A declaration of the conference was passed by the participants, which demanded jurisdiction of local governments should be limited to offer civic amenities and social services to citizens, while the elections of the mayors and chairmen shall be made through direct vote. The participants through adopting the declaration of the conference demanded that the delimitation of constituencies in Karachi should be done anew to ensure equal just and genuine representation of people of electoral process,

The participants demanded that Sindhi language should be given status of one of the languages of Pakistan and serious efforts should be made to implement Sindhi language as an official language of the province. They also demanded that Sindhi language should be made mandatory on all the government and private educational institute to implement Sindhi language as medium of education along with English.

A new social contract should be made among the constituent units of federation of Pakistan through new constituent Assembly on the basis of spirit of 1940 Lahore Resolution, the participants said.  

The participants demanded de-weaponised Karachi to combat all kinds of terrorism and Sufi tolerant and pluralistic culture of Sindh should be promoted. They further demand for special measures to protect people especially non-Muslims and legislation should be done to protect women rights and lives, property and honour.

Participants through declaration said that the geographical unity and historical status of motherland Sindh cannot be compromised at the wish of any ethnic group, political party, government or assembly. Any legislation or administrative structure that could cause implicit administrative or geographic division of Sindh is not acceptable to people of Sindh, the said.

The right to rule Sindh is an eternal right of Sindhi people and the majority demographic status of Sindhis should remain secure. In order to ensure majority right and secure historical status of Sindhis, over three million illegal immigrants from other countries should be repatriated, and legislation should be done by Sindh Assembly regarding property rights ad voting rights of citizens from other provinces of Pakistan living in Sindh, they further said.

All natural and economic resources of Sindh should be utilized for the economic development of Sindh and its people with key focus on backward areas and marginalized sections of society, they added.

The planning and development in Sindh should be depoliticised and steps should be taken to convert it into research and need based development. Idustrilisation should be done in less developed districts of Sindh to uplift underdeveloped areas and sections of population, they emphasised.

Keeping recurrence of disasters in Sindh during last couple of years, government of Sindh should made long-term disaster management programme. The Sindh government should also make provincial water policy based on international principles, they demanded.

The province need complete fiscal autonomy and Sindh government should claim legislation share in upcoming eight NFC Award. The local government system should be made and implemented in Sindh on the basis of global democratic norms and practices. The delimitation of constituencies in Karachi should be done anew to ensure equal just and genuine representation of people of electoral process, they further said.

They also demanded that more than 10 per cent of provincial budget should be spent on human development (education and health) of Sindh. Merit should be only criteria of appointments in public sector institutions and quota allocated by Public Service Commission should be practice transparently.