KARACHI  - Political parties and civil society organisations are not happy with the time bar of less than a week, set by the Sindh government, for submission of proposals about a new local bodies law in the province.

The law minister on Friday wrote to political parties submit their proposals by July 29 (today). But, according to sources, none has so far come up with any proposals complaining that period of less than a week given by the provincial government was insufficient.

A Sindh Cabinet ministerial committee led by Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandharo wrote a letter to Pakistan People’s Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Awami National Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl, Sindh United Party, Qaumi Awami Tehreek and some civil society members, asking them to submit their proposals so that the deadline to formulate legislation on a new local governments law given by the Supreme Court could be met by the mid of August.

Insiders said almost all parties, MQM and PML-F among them, had decided to seek an extension to the deadline and that they wanted to submit their recommendations after Eidul Fitr. They also said a controversy was in the offing as regards the model and nomenclature of a new local government system.

In his letter, Law Minister Dr Mandharo, reminded all political groups of Supreme Court’s verdict to complete legal formalities, including delimitation of constituencies by August 15, to enable the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold local government elections preferably on September 15.

The letter, a copy of which is available with The Nation, states that according to the provisions of Article 140-A and 219 of the Constitution, the election commission is now charged with the duty of holding elections to the local government institutions.

“Unfortunately in the past there had been lot of controversy, criticism and reservations with regards to legislation made in this regard. Therefore, it was decided by the Cabinet that political parties/stakeholders in the province may be consulted for their suggestions and amendment, in order to make amendments to the relevant law/rules for local governments elections and to prepare a comprehensive legal framework well before proposed elections,” observes the letter by the provincial government.

The government further says that while formulating such amendments and suggestions, the issues regarding appropriate representations of minorities, peasants/workers, technocrats, youth and women may be given due consideration.

The idea to have consultations with political parties/stakeholders is meant to develop homogeneity in the local governments electoral process viz laws/rules adopted/proposed by the other provinces, keeping in view forthcoming polls.

The government has urged political parties to solicit their input, proposals and suggestions accordingly before elections are conducted by the election commission in the province.

Analysts however believe the track record of PPP between 2008 and 2013 was very unjust and unfair to the feelings, inspirations and sentiment of the voter and Sindhi society in terms of formulating a law for local governments system in the province.

When contacted PML-F leader Imtiaz Shaikh said they received a letter from the provincial government a day ago, July 27, in which they had been asked to submit their proposals within two days, by July 29. He said it was not possible for them because most of their leaders and legal experts were busy with the presidential election process in Islamabad. He said he would write to the law minister and inform him about the problem and complain about being given less time for submitting proposals. Shaikh stated his party would submit their recommendations after Eid as proposals on this important subject could not be finalised in a hurry.