- Qaim leaves without drama, says he accepts party’s decision; Murad will come up to leadership’s expectations
- Bilawal meets MPAs, takes them into confidence over party’s future strategy
- Chandio says CM was relieved after prolonged consultations; Says more ‘energetic’ leader will improve PPP’s chances in next elections; Says new CM’s team will be announced in the next couple of days
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday nominated Sindh Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah as successor to outgoing Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari presided over a meeting of the parliamentary party at the Bilawal House where Qaim Ali Shah submitted his resignation. The meeting lasted for three hours.
Speaking at a press conference, Advisor to Sindh CM on Information Moula Bux Chandio confirmed the nomination of Murad Ali Shah and said that a ‘change’ has come in the province.
Shah is expected to be elected as the chief minister during the Sindh Assembly session on Friday, while the oath-taking ceremony will also take place on the same day.
PPP Information Secretary Maula Bux Chandio said in a press conference late last night that consultations for removal of the chief minister had been going on for a while and rejected the impression that he had been removed in an undignified manner or through a press release.
Chandio said Qaim Ali Shah was fortunate to have been elected chief minister on three separate occasions by the Party but that at this stage, the Party needs a more energetic chief minister.
He said the names of Murad Ali Shah’s team will be revealed in a couple of days.
The would-be-CM, meanwhile, said in an interview on Tuesday that he will try to come up to the expectations of the party leaders.
Murad Ali Shah said there were myriads of challenges faced by the province and that he would work to rectify them. He said the PPP government’s next 18 months in office could have important bearing on the next general elections.
MORE CHANGES EXPECTED IN SINDH GOVT:
Some other changes in the provincial government are also likely as Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani might become the minister for local government, a position he had held in the previous provincial cabinet.
Dr Sikandar Mandhro, Minister for Environment, could become the new speaker of the Sindh Assembly. Senior Minister for Education and Parliamentary Affairs Nisar Ahmed Khuhro could be given the slot of either home or finance. Mir Nadir Khan Magsi is likely to rejoin the provincial cabinet as food minister, a portfolio he had in the previous provincial government.
Jam Khan Shoro, the Minister for Local Government, could be given the charge of Prisons Department. It is likely that 50 per cent of the new provincial cabinet would comprise newcomers including three women MPAs, Rubina Sadaat Qaimkhani, Shaheena Sher Ali and Irum Khalid, as ministers or advisers.
BILAWAL MEETS QAIM, PARTY LEADERS:
According to a statement issued by PPP media cell, Bilawal eulogised the services of the outgoing chief minister for the party and the province, saying the PPP will continue to seek his guidance in the future as well.
Bilawal also met with MPAs of every district separately to take them into confidence and seek their opinion about the party’s future strategy.
Meanwhile, Qaim Ali Shah called on the PPP chairman at the Bilawal House on Tuesday.
“The decision to replace an experienced and loyal party leader was very difficult one,” Bilawal was reported to have told the outgoing chief minister, adding, “But sometimes the party has to take such decisions for political and strategic purposes in the collective interest of the party and the province.”
Qaim, on the occasion, said that the PPP leadership had always taken wise decisions and that he would continue to serve the party.
‘PARTY KNOWS BEST’:
Earlier, talking to media after inaugurating Lincoln Corner at Liaquat Memorial Library established by the US Consulate, Qaim Ali Shah said that the party leadership had decided to induct a new chief minister in his place and that he accepts the decision.
“I bow down before the decision of the party. It must have taken right decision.”
Brushing aside the impression of rift in the party ranks, he said: “We are all PPP. We are like family and we are all on the same page. There is no rift, no difference and no heartache,” he said.
He said that the new chief minister will complete the work he is leaving behind. “The development portfolio of the city is quite impressive and with the completion of development projects in the city, Karachi will take on a beautiful look and we are also doing our best for the rest of Sindh.”
Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that he has served the people of this province with heart and soul. “I tried my best to serve my people selflessly. It always remained my utmost effort to provide maximum job opportunities to the youth of the province.” He added that it is the people of the province who have to assess his services because they are the best judges. He said that the new chief minister will also work hard for the people of the province. This was the legacy of Shaheed Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, he said and added that the new chief minister will follow their example as he had done it himself.
Later, Qaim Ali Shah went to the residence of Izharul Hassan, leader of opposition in the Sindh Assembly, and offered condolence on the death of his father.
SHAH MEETS SHAH:
Earlier, Senior Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah called on Qaim Ali Shah and discussed issues of mutual interest, including governance, development schemes, law and order and others.
Syed Murad Ali Shah lauded the services of Syed Qaim Ali Shah for the party, people and the government.
He said he was fully satisfied with the decisions of the party. Earlier, Sindh Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah also reached Karachi along with provincial minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla and a PPP MPA Imdad Pitafi.
Talking to newsmen at the Karachi Airport, Murad Ali Shah said that the summary to extend special policing powers of Sindh Rangers in Karachi would be signed by the incumbent CM.
Later, the Sindh finance minister also met Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan at the Governor’s House where the law and order issues of the province, governance matters and the ongoing development works were discussed.
Before leaving for Karachi from Dubai, Murad Ali Shah along with some other MPAs of the party met the chief of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League (Functional), Pir Sabghatullah Shah Rashidi (Pir Pagara), to get his blessings for the new responsibilities.