- PPP’s Dubai huddle decides to let go of Sindh chief minister
- Party sources say Murad Ali Shah likely to replace Qaim Ali Shah, Home Minister Sindh Sohail Anwar Sayal to make way for Nisar Khuhro, Sharmila Farooqi to also bite the bullet
- Latif Khosa says issue of Rangers’ powers in Sindh will be decided this week
While a major huddle of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) failed to reach a consensus on extension of policing powers for the paramilitary Rangers in Sindh during a meeting in Dubai on Sunday, the party’s top leadership has decided to bring changes in the Sindh cabinet, including bringing in a new chief minister.
According to a source in the PPP, Murad Ali Shah is likely to replace Qaim Ali Shah as the Sindh chief minister.
Home Minister Sindh Sohail Anwar Sayal, whose ties with Asad Kharal – a man alleged to be a frontman in the corruption activities of top Sindh government officials – have been highlighted in the media in recent days, is going to be removed from his post and he will be replaced by Senior Sindh Minister Nisar Khuhro.
Meanwhile, PPP Secretary General and former Punjab governor Latif Khosa said on Sunday that the issue of Rangers’ extension in Sindh will be resolved soon.
PPP Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said the decision about changes in the Sindh cabinet was taken during a meeting of PPP leaders with party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and former president Asif Ali Zardari in Dubai. Sindh chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah was also present during the meeting.
Federal Minister Khurram Dastgir also said that the issue of Rangers’ powers will be resolved within the next week.
Bilawal is scheduled to return to Karachi early this week after which he will meet PPP’s Sindh leaders and MPAs before finalising changes in the provincial cabinet.
Murad Ali Shah’s name had long been finalised as Sinch chief minister but was pending as the PPP co-chairman, Asif Zardari, wanted Qaim Ali Shah to continue.
Sources in the PPP claim Murad Ali Shah has proven his worth for a long time as a good administrator and also has an unblemished past. He has full backing from Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
Robina Qaimkhani is being appointed as Culture Minister.
Advisor to Sindh CM Sharmila Farooqi is also being removed from her post in the wake of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s letter to the CM Sindh pointing out that Sharmila Farooqi had been disqualified by the court for 21 years after she struck a plea bargain with the Bureau in a corruption case. However, she had been using state resources as advisor for a long time.
Khosa said the issue pertaining to extension in power of Rangers’ in Sindh will soon be resolved.
Speaking to reporters in Dubai, former Punjab governor Latif Khosa said that the chief minister can constitutionally summon Rangers in aid of police in the province.
“Indeed, Rangers have done a fine job. However, it is wrong to say that police have not played any role.”
Khosa said that the issue of extension of the Rangers’ powers will soon be resolved “in the interest of the people”.
Replying to recent statements of the interior minister, he said that Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan should stop issuing threats.
“You cannot interfere in provincial matters like this; Rangers operation should be carried out nationwide if it is that important,” said the former governor.
He alleged that the pro-coup banners in Islamabad were put up on the orders of Nisar.
“Chaudhary Nisar wanted to create drive a wedge between the prime minister and the army so that he could become the prime minister himself,” Khosa alleged.
He said Chaudhry Nisar should wait for his turn and stop issuing threats.
He said that all was not well in Punjab and the province had become a haven for crime.
Khosa said that he knew that terrorists had found a safe haven in Southern Punjab.
Khosa said that the PPP is still committed to the Charter of Democracy (CoD). He said that the government’s stance was not to include the prime minister’s name in the Terms of Reference (TORs) for the Panama Papers probe. If the government did not agree to a transparent inquiry pertaining to Panama leaks, , he warned, the PPP will bring forth a bill into the parliament.
Khosa alleged that Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections were not conducted in a free and fair manner.
ALL PAKISTANIS STAND WITH THE PEOPLE OF KASHMIR:
He said that the Indian forces were oppressing innocent people in occupied Kashmir.
“Kashmir is our jugular vein. Every single Pakistani child is standing with the Kashmiris,” he said.
He further said that the Pakistan Army is the best army in the world and General Raheel Sharif is the best commander.
A meeting of the PPP’s senior leadership was earlier held in Dubai with Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in the chair but it failed to reach a decision on the issue of the extension of Rangers’ powers in Sindh.