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Thursday, September 13, 2012

PPP-MQM accord on the structure of local government in Sindh.

By amicus • Sep 13th, 2012 • Category: Lead Story •One Response
Although MQM had joined the Sindh and Federal Governments as a coalition partner of the PPP after the general elections of 2008, it seemed helpless when it was deprived of the Karachi City District Government formed under the Local Government Ordinance of 2001.
Perhaps there was some tacit understanding between the PPP and the PML (N) not to allow the MQM to take undue advantage of its bargaining position and this greatly restricted the MQM’s options in dealing with the PPP.
The MQM did not succeed to impress upon the PPP the need to continue with the system of city government in Karachi, introduced by the Local Government Ordinance of 2001, which offered a good, midway and viable solution between an administration controlled by the Sindh Government and making Karachi a separate province.
The promulgation of Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance 2012 on September 7, which appears to be a combination of the local government systems provided in the ordinances of 1979 and 2001, has led to speculation about the selection of its timing and purpose.
The reaction of the Sindhi nationalists, the Sindh-based parties and the ANP has been prompt. They have rejected it as a device to divide Sindh. The NPP, the PML (F) and the ANP have quit the Sindh Government. It is obvious these parties intend to exploit the situation for political gains at a time when general elections are not far away.
Sindhi nationalists and Sindh-based parties want to appeal to the emotions of people of Sindh, who believe in the unity of Sindh as if it is an article of faith. The stakes of the ANP are confined to Karachi where there is a large population of their followers. Its main concern is with the advantage that will accrue to the MQM by the promulgation of SPLGO 2012.
PPP seems to have made the move calculatedly. It wants to ensure that the MQM remains attached to it at a time when the general elections are within sight. The PPP understands that the ethnic Sindhis have emotional attachment to it, which has endured in even extremely adverse circumstances, and it can afford to take risk. Except for a few non-PPP leaders, who win because of their personal or clan clout, the PPP does not expect to lose much in interior Sindh. In fact, if it is able to forge electoral alliance or understanding with the MQM, the Mohajir support to the PPP candidates in rural Sindh can strengthen its position greatly.
For the PPP, in the worst case, the ANP is expendable not only at provincial level, where its representation is insignificant, but at federal level also because the chances of its faring well in the next general elections may not be that bright.
For the MQM, it is important to demonstrate to its supporters that at least it has been able to achieve substantial concession from the PPP. It cannot go to its voters empty-handed. It also wants to convey the message that in view of the treatment meted out to it by the PML (N), it has no option other than to go along with the PPP.
If the MQM gets assurance from the PPP that no attempt would be made to dislodge it from any of the constituencies from where it has been winning in urban Sindh, it is likely to cooperate with the PPP in rural areas of the province. If they remain welded, the PPP and the MQM can deny the PML (N) and the Sindhi nationalists any chances of forming even a coalition government in Sindh.
Despite the directive by the Supreme Court, no provincial government has shown willingness to hold local bodies’ elections in the near future, maybe because no ruling coalition, other than the one in Sindh, is sure of its strength.
It is not clear if the PPP and the MQM have any intention to hold local bodies’ elections in Sindh before the general elections. However, if these elections are held in Sindh, they are likely to prove advantageous to the two parties because of their strong position in the province. With local bodies, including municipal and metropolitan corporations under them, the PPP and the MQM may find it convenient to influence the results of the general elections to their benefit.
The holding of local bodies’ elections in Sindh may also cause building of pressure on other provincial governments to go for the same with adverse consequences.
These are telltale signs of general elections may, after all, not come to pass on time. Besides, it may do no harm to MQM-PPP even if local bodies’ polls do not precede the general elections. Coalition of the duo fore tells both want an Election Alliance for both the elections in any order of precedence. For some it may be self-serving but for them it is coming of age.
That said PPP, for now stems the dithering existential alliance with Muthahida Qaumi Movement. In the process PPP has lost important and diverse coalition partners in Sindh and at the Centre and even within the party. The move may be tactically justifiable not strategically. In principal PPP has conceded the system of City Government introduced by Mr. Pervez Musharraf in 2001/2.
The Local government ordinance 2001/2 was never acted upon on important provisions of Land Control, Police to name a few. It remains to be seen, how the new legislation is fashioned in that dimension opposed to PPP-MQM coalition.
It also remains to be seen if the Ordinance is placed before the provincial assembly and how soon. Electoral contest in Sindh is shaping up.


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Almas Jacob [We Are Watchers] said...

So it means Mark Of the Beast coming to Pakistan. Whole RFID System is to enslave innocent people.