KARACHI - Unnerved by the hard-hitting questions by journalists of the Sindhi language media about the revival of the local government system of 2001, provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said on Tuesday that the revived system will be amended soon.
“Even though the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sindh chapter considers the commissionerate system better for the province, but the previous local government system has been restored on the demand of the ally party,” he said at a press conference held at the New Sindh Secretariat.
“The changes will be made in consultation with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Awami National Party,” he added.
He dispelled the impression that the PPP tried to divide Sindh on administrative lines by introducing a separate local government system in Karachi and Hyderabad.
He said that this was a “technical mistake” and the decision was not made “intentionally”. “The government later corrected its mistake within 24 hours of the decision,” he added.
Three ministers were scheduled to speak at the press conference, however, only the newly appointed minister, Nadeem Ahmed Bhutto, accompanied the information minister and third one – Electric Power Minister Shazia Marri was absent.
According to Information Department officers, Marri was scheduled to accompany the ministers, but could not attend the press conference due to her engagements.
This was the first appearance of the PPP ministers after the party first restored the discarded local government system in Karachi and Hyderabad, and on the next day, in the entire province.
By making these controversial decisions, the PPP invited the ire of people throughout Sindh.
“We are here to counter the propaganda that ministers have disappeared after the recent developments,” Memon told journalists.
The reporters of the Sindhi language media became so confrontational - both during and after the press conference - that some of their senior journalists had to intervene many times to pacify the situation.
Clearly unnerved and feeling the pressure, the information minister kept clarifying his stance during the press conference.
He said that the PPP reversed the commissionerate system to continue its reconciliatory policy and for the sake of peace in the Karachi. “Yes we are more concerned about the law and order and we have to save the lives of people,” he added.
However, he later changed his statement by saying that the restoration of the commissionerate system had any connection with the killings in Karachi.