The Sindh government has displayed a number of weaknesses for which it has been duly criticised by the courts, the media and its political opponents. Its performance during the Thar famine was dismal. It is widely accused for making large scale political appointments in the police department, thus undermining the discipline and efficiency of the force. It failed to control heinous crimes like target killings and kidnappings for ransom. The deterioration in law and order forced the federal government to step in to initiate a police cum Rangers’ operation. The Sindh government stood in the way of holding timely elections for the Local Governments. While other provincial administrations also share some of the weaknesses, many believe that these are found in their worst form in Sindh.
The Governor’s rule, which is being suggested by some shortsighted people, is no solution to the problems facing the province. There are no urgent solutions to complicated and longstanding social issues like corruption, inefficiency or for that matter extremism. Quick fixes will only aggravate the ills. Long spells of military rule have resulted in the stilted growth of political institutions and the slow evolution of a system of checks and balances. Independent courts, free media and the rival political parties have been over the last few years exposing the ills and keeping a watch on the performance of the provincial and federal governments. What is needed is to strengthen these checks. Meanwhile the government should be allowed to compete its tenure so that they have no excuse when held accountable by the voters during the elections.
There is no legal justification for the Governor’s rule in Sindh. Article 234 dealing with the Governor’s rule envisages a situation where the Government of the province cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution. Despite its problems, the government in Sindh is performing its functions. Under the condition any recourse to Article 234 in the second largest province of the country will create doubts and suspicions in the country and give birth to uncertainty.