KARACHI - Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad on Wednesday approved the resignation of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah immediately after he officially tendered his resignation to former at the Governor House Karachi.

The governor, however, asked him to perform his responsibilities till the election of the new chief minister of the province.

The meeting between the two top executive authorities of the province was also attended by PPP-nominee for the chief minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Speaker Sindh Assembly Agha Siraj Durrani, Home Minister Sohail Anwer Siyal, Chief Secretary Siddique Memon and others.

It is pertinent to mention here that Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah had the honour to remain the longest serving chief minister of the province. He was appointed chief minister from 1988 to 1990 during the premiership of Benazir Bhutto and later served on the slot for the consecutive period of eight years since 2008.

Talking to media, the Sindh governor said that he had approved the resignation of the chief minister fulfilling the constitutional formalities but asked him to perform his duties till election of the new CM.

He said it was a political decision and such decisions were part of politics but the chief minister performed his duties well despite facing several challenges in his tenure.

“He is an experienced politician and his experience is an asset that should be used for guidance of the upcoming people,” he said, adding, that Shah was more experienced than any other politician of the country.

He said everybody paid equal respect to Shah irrespective of political rivalries and his tenure witnessed close coordination between governor and CM House and several issues were resolved due to this consultation.

The governor further said that the law and order situation would be one of the biggest challenges for the new chief minister.

Speaking on the occasion, Qaim Ali Shah said he was a worker of the PPP and had accepted the party decision every time and would continue to do so as well.

He also applauded the cooperation extended by the Sindh governor during his tenure to resolve several issues of the province.

Talking to media on Wednesday after meeting PPP senior leader Makhdoom Jamiluz Zaman, Murad Ali Shah said he would try to establish a good working relationship with every political party of the province and would continue to do so under the guidance of his elders.

Laying out his priorities, the appointed chief minister said that maintaining law and order was his first priority and the Karachi operation would only succeed if everybody will contribute for its success.

“Not only opposition parties, but I wanted support from every citizen of the province,” he said. 

He said there was no difference among party members over his nomination and all lawmakers supported him for this slot.

Speaking over extending Rangers powers in the province, Murad said the PPP leadership had made it clear that giving extension in Rangers powers was the need of the hour and this issue would soon be resolved.

On Wednesday, Murad also met with Opposition Leader in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah and PPP women wing chief Faryal Talpur.  

Meanwhile, PPP’s aim for unopposed election of Murad as the chief minister faced some resistance after Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf announced Khurram Sher Zaman as his candidate for the chief minister slot and MQM was also mulling over to bring its candidate for the slot.

Talking to media, PTI Leader Imran Ismail said Khurram Sher Zaman would be the PTI candidate for the chief ministerial slot and they would also contact other political parties to support him.

The MQM candidate for the chief minister would be announced after the coordination committee meeting. The party had also summoned meeting of its lawmakers in Sindh Assembly, where the decision in this regard would be taken. 

However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional spiritual leader Pir Pagaro had extended his support for the PPP-appointed chief minister during meeting with him in Dubai. The other political parties including PML-N and National Party would also support the PPP candidate.

Separately, the Secretary Sindh Assembly has also announced schedule for the election of the new chief minister according to which the nomination papers for the candidates could be submitted on July 28 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm while the election process would be held on Friday (tomorrow).

The newly-elected chief minister would take oath of his slot on the same day of election from Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, who had the honour to take oath from the six chief ministers of the province.

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has asked the PPP Sindh lawmakers to remain in Karachi so that the party should have a clear majority of 91 votes against the 70 votes of opposition and can easily sail through the process of electing new chief minister.   

The cabinet of the CM was also dissolved after the approval of resignation of the Sindh CM and the newly-elected cabinet would also take oath with the chief minister on Friday.

Meanwhile, according to sources, in the first phase, six to seven new ministers would be included in the provincial cabinet and they would be the senior PPP leaders who are are still enjoying the ministerial posts.

These ministers had also asked the party leadership not to change their portfolios. The party had approved their demands and the other inclusions in the cabinet would be made after consultation with the newly-elected chief minister.

However, the sources further said that the newly-formed cabinet would have a greater number of women representation and those who are likely to have the ministerial posts include Rubina Sadat Qaimkhani, Khairun Nisa Mughal and Irum Khalid.