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Umar terms tweaks in Sindh LG law as ‘danger to Pakistan’

Updated 02 Jan, 2022
Planning Minister Asad Umar during a press conference in Karachi. Screen grab
Planning Minister Asad Umar during a press conference in Karachi. Screen grab

Expressing grave concerns over the amendments to local government law of Sindh, Planning Minister Asad Umar on Sunday said such tweaks are ‘dangerous for Pakistan’ and vowed to raise a voice against it in the lower house of parliament.

“According to my personal opinion, amendments to local government law are causing dangers for Pakistan because such changes would revoke the remaining rights available to the local leaders within the current LG system,” he said during a press conference in Karachi. The federal minister was accompanied by the provincial lawmakers of the party.

The amended local government bill was passed by the Sindh Assembly on Nov 26, 2021, amid strong protest and boycott of the proceedings by the opposition parties. The PPP-led government has maintained that they have incorporated opposition’s suggestions and was in contact with them. Moreover, they added that they had to meet the ECP’s deadline.

Umar added that the government has filed a petition against the amendment in the court while recalling the Article 140A, according to which “each Province shall, by law, establish a local government system and devolve political, administrative and financial responsibility and authority to the elected representatives of the local governments. Elections to the local governments shall be held by the Election Commission of Pakistan.”

He proved his point by saying that Pakistan has a federal system and unless the government provided rights to the local leaders there would be no political identity and rights at the local level which he feared would create unstaibility.

“For Pakistan’s democracy and integrity, it is necessary that there must be such laws that local bodies are strengthened. We will continue to raise voices and will move the court,” Umar said.

Taking a jibe at the Sindh government, he said according to the National Accountability Bureau’s investigation report Rs20 billion worth of wheat was stolen in the province. “The Sindh government says rats ate all the wheat, I don’t know whether these rats were human rats or normal like falooda wala or rabri wala from where the illegal money comes out.”

He also spoke about the new Covid wave and stressed the need for using masks. “Everyone should care for themselves as I had mentioned earlier in the day that there is clear evidence of another Covid wave in Pakistan,” Umar said.