Reconciliation a blessing for 12,600 CDGK, KWSB workers


As reconciliation between the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the estranged former ally Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) enters its final stage, the Sindh government has decided not to cancel the appointment of around 12,600 employees hired by former Haq Parast-backed city nazim, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The MQM had quit the federal government in December 2010 over a number of differences with the ruling PPP. Later, the party’s provincial ministers also resigned over an issue on elections of two Azad Jammu and Kashmir seats, while Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad also tendered his resignation.
After the resignation of the MQM ministers, the PPP leadership quickly took a number of decisions including the revival of commissionerate system with restoration of the old administrative status of Karachi and Hyderabad, and taking over the control of educational boards from Sindh Governor’s office.
However, PPP Senator Babar Awan and President Asif Zardari’s other close aide Federal Petroleum and Natural Resources Minister Dr Asim Hussain brokered a deal between the two political parties, resulting in the restoration of the local government system of 2001 in Karachi and Hyderabad, and eventually in the entire province.
Meanwhile, the move has also kept alive the livelihoods of politically-motivated appointments in the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) and the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB).
Well-placed sources in the Sindh government told Pakistan Today that during his tenure former city nazim Mustafa Kamal had appointed at least 12,600 personnel – 7,600 in the KWSB and 5,000 in various departments of CDGK – putting unnecessary burden on the city government finances.
When the PPP-MQM coalition parted and the commissionerate system replaced the CDGK, the Sindh government decided to cancel the appointments made on political grounds, as the ruling PPP had time and again pinpointed the “extra” appointments in the water utility.
The sources said that a couple of inquiry committees had also been formed by the authorities concerned to take notice of the situation and send the politically-appointed employees home; however, the former coalition partner always resisted the move.
In April 2008, Sindh Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrrani had instructed KWSB Managing Director Ghulam Arif to submit a report within 90 days clarifying how these appointments were made during the tenure of the caretaker government and the CDGK. However, no action could be taken again due to the PPP’s reconciliatory politics and the MQM’s strong resistance.
The alleged appointments were also confirmed by present acting chairman of the water utility, MPA Haji Munawar Abbasi, a few days ago while talking with Pakistan Today.
Moreover, Local Government Secretary Ali Ahmed Lund had also instructed the former Karachi Commissioner to hold an identification parade of the 5,000 politically-backed appointees, as the employees were drawing salaries without even attending their offices.
Now, as the MQM prepares to join the government, the Sindh Local Government Department has been instructed to cancel all processes initiated against the removal of the politically-backed workers.