Some said that he was here before Pakistan came into existence. Others claimed that time as a concept had no meaning to his indomitable spirit. All agreed, however, that Qaim Ali Shah had been here for a very long time, and most expected that he would still be Chief Minister for even longer still. But the recent PPP leadership meeting in Dubai changed all of that when it was announced that the eternal Sindh CM would be replaced with almost immediate effect.

While the party did not announce its reasons for the change at the helm of the Sindh government, it’s not like PPP did not have reasons aplently for Qaim Ali Shah’s dismissal. The condition of Karachi in terms of both law and order and waste management has led to a lot of flak coming in PPP’s direction in recent times. The PPP government as a whole is to blame, but many have argued that a younger Chief Minister could be doing better.

Bilawal has been mulling a change of faces for a while now, but it remains to be seen whether replacing the old guard has started with or stopped at Qaim Ali Shah. The injection of youth that the PPP Chairman has been looking to implement seems to be coming sooner rather than later.

As far as his replacement is concerned, not too much is known about the incumbent Chief Minister so far, apart from the fact that he is a technocrat, with an educational background in both engineering and economics. Murad Ali Shah’s father was also Chief Minister of Sindh, and hence has a family history in politics. His nomination has already been endorsed by the Mayor-in-waiting of Karachi, Waseem Akhtar of MQM.

Murad Ali Shah will not be able to make too many changes in the status quo however, if his orders keep coming in from Dubai, as they did with Qaim Ali Shah. As it stands, PPP is at a crossroads, where the security of Karachi and Sindh as a whole, rests on the decision of whether or not to extend the duration of special powers given to Rangers in the metropolis and whether to extend their ambit in the rest of the province. Murad Ali Shah on his own will have no say on this matter, but there is still lots to be done in Karachi and beyond. The public can only hope that the vigour and youth being advertised by PPP lives up to the hype.