LG issue hype smells like a PPP ploy?


With the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) seemingly content on restoring the 1979 commissionerate system while keeping the previous geographical administrative boundaries of Hyderabad district, the hype surrounding the whole episode of the ‘failure of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership’ in convincing its coalition partner on the matter was a well-planned strategy of the ruling party to regain its popularity in Sindh, sources privy to the development confided with Pakistan Today.
The popularity graph of the PPP had touched a peak after the restoration of the commissionerate system in July through an act with majority of votes from the Sindh Assembly. But under its policy of reconciliation, the ruling party had to swallow a bitter pill to continue with the previous local government system of 2001 to please the MQM.
Therefore, after lengthy deliberations between senior PPP leader Senator Babar Awan and MQM-backed Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad, an ordinance was promulgated thereby restoring the local bodies’ system in Karachi and Hyderabad only, while the rest of the province remained under the commissionerate system.
However, sensing the unpopularity of the decision in the province and the rising resistance against separate administrative set-ups for Karachi and Hyderabad and the rest of Sindh, within hours the decision was changed by the ruling PPP and the Sindh Local Government Ordinance-2001 was restored in the whole of Sindh.
Since after the passage of the 18th Constitutional Amendment the same ordinance cannot be promulgated for the second time after its expiry in three months, the SLGO-2001 expired on November 5 as it could not be passed from the Sindh Assembly.
The majority of elected representatives from the PPP and other coalition government partners – Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Awami National Party, National People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid – also supported the restoration of the commissionerate system.
With a well-planned strategy, the PPP had ignored the time duration of the ordinance and only initiated consultations with the MQM at the eleventh hour, which ultimately lead to the revival of the commissionerate system in the province on November 6 – but the commissioners were notified on Thursday, due to the holidays of Eidul Azha.
The MQM was assured by the PPP that the leadership of both parties would hold further discussions to bring about a new local government system in the province that is acceptable to everyone.
However, the sources disclosed that the ruling party is in no mood to do politics on the local bodies issue as it is already preparing for the Senate elections. “The new bill for the amended local government system of 1979 would be presented in the Sindh Assembly only after the Senate elections scheduled for March 12, 2012.”
The whole episode surrounding the on-ground failure of the PPP leadership in persuading its coalition partners on reviving the commissionerate system of 1979 was hyped up only as a strategy to automatically restore the commissioners-led administration and regain the PPP’s lost popularity in Sindh, the sources said.