JI refuses to end sit-in against Sindh LG bill


KARACHI: The PPP-led Sindh government’s team and the Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi leadership failed to make any progress in the first round of talks on Sunday night, held to resolve the JI’s sit-in, that lasted more than 10 days, outside the Sindh Assembly, The News reported.

Senior leaders, including Sindh Local Government Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab and PPP Provincial Secretary General Waqar Mehdi were sent by the party’s central leadership late Sunday night to negotiate with the JI over their sit-in moved by the controversial local government bill passed by the Sindh Assembly.

JI Karachi Chief Hafiz Naeemur Rehman, accompanied by JI Karachi leaderUsama Raza and MPA Abdul Rasheed accompanied, welcomed the PPP delegation at the sit-in camp. However, the disgruntled party didn’t agree to end the sit-in. Though a committee comprising leaders from both sides was formed for further consultation on the matter, which will meet on a daily basis to discuss the controversial local government bill.

Provincial Ministers Nasir Hussain Shah and Saeed Ghani, Karachi Administrator Murtaza Wahab and Senator Taj Haider will represent the Sindh government, while JI Karachi Deputy Chief Muslim Pervez, MPA Rasheed and Saifuddin Advocate will represent the JI in the talks, said JI.

Talking to the media after the meeting, Sindh Minister Nasir Hussain Shah said both sides have agreed to continue negotiations on the local government bill.

“We have formed a committee that will meet on a daily basis to discuss the points of the bill,” he said. Nasir Hussain Shah also requested the JI leaders to postpone the sit-in for a few days.

“Because of some busy schedule, we could not arrive at the sit-in camp on time,” Nasir Shah said. However, he said that the Sindh government’s delegation had visited Idara Noor-e-Haq (JI Karachi headquarters) to discuss the local government bill. He said that the PPP leadership also believed in empowered provinces and cities

“We will definitely include the JI’s recommendation in consultation and are ready to make further amendments in the law,” he said. JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman, while talking to the media, said the religious party will continue its sit-in outside the provincial assembly building. “As long as there is no practical step, our sit-in will continue,” he clarified.

However, he appreciated the Sindh government’s positive thinking for initiating negotiations on the disputed local government bill. “The Sindh government’s delegation has assured us of some amendments in the local government legislation,” he said, adding the JI wants direct election of the mayor and a uniform system in the entire province.

The JI leader said powers of the mayor and local government have been snatched and handed over to the Sindh government, adding Karachi is a mini-Pakistan where people from all ethnicities and provinces lives.

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