Posted on 8 months ago
Of course, the opponents of the law have not acted wisely, either. Instead of creating rumpus in the assembly, they should have taken a stand and moved amendments to the draft law. Given the overwhelming majority of the PPP-MQM combine in the provincial assembly, their amendments stood an outside chance of being adopted. Still, they would have made the point tellingly that the proposed law suffered from certain inherent infirmities that should be rectified. That chance they have just frittered away with their pandemonium.
But it was primarily the obligation of the PPP-MQM duo to ensure that the law was as perfect as humanly possible for its general acceptance and consequent efficacy. It should have understood that this law was of fundamental import, for which reason its determining factor was to be consensus, not majority will. Yet the duo went for the juggernaut of the majority to ride roughshod over dissent. The two parties may have been discussing between themselves the enactment over the past four years. But from the severe reaction of their erstwhile coalition partners it appears even they had not been taken aboard.
And this was very irrational on their part. Since this enactment is so closely related to the basic lives of the province's citizens, that necessarily entailed that it should have carried as broad a consensus as possible. True, the two parties are the leading players in the province with massive public support on their backs. But the other parties, including the minor ones in the opposition, were very relevant to this law as well. They too have support bases among the public. By keeping them from participation in the formulation of this law, the aspirations and expectations of their electorates have gone unreflected in it.
The critics do have a point. It really is novel for a province to have two systems of local government, one for a clutch of five cities and another for the rest of the province. Why couldn't there be a uniform system for all? The apologists of the enactment contend that it would transfer power to the grassroots level. But would not have a uniform system done the same? The plain truth is that this enactment has its roots deep in the political motivations of the PPP and the MQM, not in any altruistic objective of transferring power to the grassroots levels.
But by inflicting this novelty of two systems of local government on the province, they have indeed sent out negatively the dangerous signals of jarring differentiation and divisiveness, which in the long term will certainly have very baneful impact on the solidarity and cohesiveness of its polity. An inkling of it can well be had from the shutter-down call of the opponents that saw the province's interior closed down for the most part on Tuesday. With this contrivance the PPP-MQM combine has in effect given a handle to the fissiparous forces to play their nefarious games harmfully in Sindh.
And this could be the last thing that the province could afford at this point in time when its crucial port city of Karachi is in such a bloody turmoil of violence and bloodletting, much of it the handiwork of land and drug mafias and gunrunners that now virtually are in control of the city. In the given conditions, the province would certainly do without an interior in flames. And it would be very irresponsible on the part of the PPP-MQM duo to let the province slip into an inferno just for the satiation of their power ambitions and political goals.
Even now the enactment must be reopened to incisive debate and the reservations of the opponents be addressed to produce a consensus law for the local government in the province. The other way is all fraught with gigantic dangers that could hurt Sindh irreparably eventually. All and sundry stand forewarned.
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