‘Coalition partners still caught in new LG system debate’


Consultations with other coalition government partners on the new local government system are still continuing and the Sindh Assembly session will be convened after these issues are finalised, Sindh Law Minister Ayaz Soomro said on Monday. He said this while talking to journalists after presiding over a meeting held to review implementation on the Supreme Court’s judgment given in the suo motu case on Karachi violence. Soomro was of the view that the commissionerate system and the local bodies’ system are two separate things and the government allies are engaged in consultations on a new LG system. Dismissing the impression that the Sindh Assembly could not complete the required number of days in proceedings this year, the provincial minister, responding to a question, said the legislative assembly’s session could not be convened on a single point agenda.
The government has completed implementation on around 16 points that were mentioned in the Supreme Court verdict on Karachi violence and has accelerated efforts for action on the remaining matters, Soomro said. “The government has removed 37 law officers, and appointed commissioned officers. A commission headed by Justice (retd) Zahid Qurban Alvi has also been set up for scrutinising political appointments in the Sindh police,” he added, referring to some of the implemented points. “In compliance with the court’s verdict, operations are being conducted in the city and terrorists as well as elements involved in crimes being apprehended,” he said.
“The exercise of ongoing operations and immediate action is being carried out on the basis of intelligence reports,” he said in reply to a question.
The minister said that the details of the arrests and related reports are being sent to the Supreme Court through the Sindh High Court chief justice. “All other relevant details about the implementation on the court decision are also being regularly dispatched.”
He added that the Sindh High Court chief justice is also holding monthly meetings to review the pace of action on the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Karachi. At the meeting, he said, the Sindh inspector general of police had informed the participants that there are no ‘no-go areas’ in Karachi now. “The provincial government, in compliance to the Supreme Court’s decision, will also issue letters to all political parties asking them to expel criminal elements from their party cadres or within associated bodies.”
The minister said the Sindh Law Department has prepared a draft bill for providing protection to witnesses in criminal and other cases.
“The bill is ready and will be presented in the Sindh Assembly’s forthcoming session for approval.” In reply to a question regarding appointment of Waseem Ahmed as special home secretary, the law minister said his appointment was done according to the law. Answering another question, he said that the government has already presented the Joint Interrogation Team’s investigation report of an alleged target killer named Ajmal Pahari in the Supreme Court. Soomro said the government is working in collaboration with intelligence agencies on a plan to purge Karachi of arms.