PPP hasn’t run away from LG polls, says Sharjeel

Our Correspondent
Friday, Oct 21, 2022

karachi: Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon has said the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) hasn’t run away from the local government elections in Karachi, and the allegations to this effect of the opposition political parties are merely baseless propaganda.

Speaking at a press conference here on Thursday, he said the provincial government had never suggested to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that the municipal polls shouldn’t be held on October 23. Memon said the Sindh government had merely suggested to the ECP to hold the polls in Karachi in two phases if the centre didn’t sanction the deployment of the law-enforcement personnel required for the polls. He said that as per the suggestion of the provincial government, the polls in Karachi in two phases would have been completed within three to four days.

He said the government had been facing a shortage of police force for maintaining security in Karachi on the poll day as the police had been busy with flood emergency duties elsewhere in the province given that 30 per cent of the rural areas were still inundated. He clarified that the ECP hadn’t accepted the suggestion of the government and instead opted to defer the polls once again.

Memon said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and the Jamaat-e-Islami had indulged in the baseless propaganda that the Sindh government had run away from its obligation of holding local government polls in Karachi. He claimed that this was the ideal time for the PPP to contest the elections in Karachi because of the record number of development works completed by the government in Karachi and other districts of the province. He claimed that the PPP would emerge as the single largest political party in the provincial capital whenever the polls were held in Karachi. He reiterated the resolve of the government to take along all political parties and address their grievances concerning the cause of empowering the elected local government representatives.

He said there was always room for improvement in all the laws of the land, as was the case with the existing provincial local government act. He said an empowered system of local governance was duly part of the manifesto of the PPP, as under the same spirit the upcoming elected local government representatives, including the mayors and district chairmen in the province, would be given powers.

Memon said a draft of the amendment law was being prepared to empower the elected local government representatives in the province, and in case a session of the Sindh Assembly was summoned the same draft would be presented before the house; otherwise, it would be enforced through the promulgation of an ordinance.

The information minister told media persons that the rehabilitation phase of the flood relief activities in the province had commenced with the collection of data of 250,000 affected persons.

He said that committees had been constituted at the taluka level with representatives of the Pakistan Army and National Disaster Management Authority for carrying out flood relief work in a transparent way. He said Sindh People’s Housing Company had been constituted by the provincial government to reconstruct houses for the flood victims.

Memon said that as per the plan of the federal government, financial support would be extended in phases to the homeless flood victims for the reconstruction of their houses, and the taluka-level committees would monitor this entire process. He said non-governmental organisations would also be involved in the reconstruction of the houses in the flood-hit areas.