ONE SINDH, ONE SYSTEM – NO TO DUAL SYSTEM
Sindh has been subject to continuous onslaught against its sovereignty and unity particularly
during last sixty five years of Pakistani Federation. The recent attack on its sovereignty has
been hurled by no other than Pakistan People’s Party who claims to have the mandate of the
people of Sindh. This attack on the unity and sovereignty of Sindh in the shape of so called
Sindh Peoples Local Government Act, 2012 reminds us the era of July, 1948 when Karachi was
snatched from Sindh and placed under the suzerainty of centre. Sindh Assembly had to take
refuge in Hyderabad. At present, Sindh Assembly’s very existence at Karachi will also be
devoid of any utility as it has transferred the executive authority of Provincial Government to
Metropolitan Corporation, Karachi making itself and the Sindh Government a puppet in the
hands of Karachi Mayor.
Unfortunately, Sindh Government is undeterred by its capitulation and surrender. Its
Ministers, advisors and PPP office bearers have been making baseless allegations against the
leaders of National and progressive Parties of Sindh who have been spearheading a heroic
struggle against this black law. Ignorant of the very letter and spirit of SPLG Act, 2012, the
Government is defending the defenseless. We would like to present the case of Sindh against
this law by pointing out various provisions of this black law. For the sake of convenience and
understanding, we have divided the Act of 2012 into three parts: First relates to the constitution
of Councils, Second enumerates the powers of the Metropolitan Corporations and third is about
the financial powers conferred on the councils and resources made available to them.
(1) Constitution of Councils:
Section 8 of the SPLG Act, 2012 declares Karachi as a single district abolishing five districts for
the sake of municipal purposes. It creates a single Metropolitan Corporation out of five districts
in Karachi and five other single district Metropolitan Corporations in Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas,
Sukkur, Khairpur and Larkana. Constituting single district metropolitan corporations in no case
affects the demographic balance of population. However, it badly affects the demographic balance and representation of various communities particularly sindhi and Baloch in Karachi when their majority districts of Malir, South and West as well as large parts of district East are placed under the central control of Mayor who is elected indirectly on the basis of fraudulent electoral system and belongs to a particular ethnic community not forming majority of the population in Karachi. Under section 8, the Zonal Municipal Committees of the districts and District Council, Karachi representing rural areas of all the five districts have been done away with thus completely eliminating the representation of Sindhi, Baloch and other people living in Karachi. Under Section 9, eighteen towns have been created without respecting the boundaries
of the revenue districts thus political Gerry maundering has been ordered in the shape of
section 9. The town boundaries, at present, run across district boundaries only in Karachi
whereas in other districts of Sindh, town or Talukas are the part and parcel of the same district.
In Karachi, the towns have been created in such a way as to make minority population a
majority one. No direct elections of the Mayor unlike London will be held. Thus a dual system
has been enforced which gives complete control to one ethnic community in Karachi at the cost
of others. Such basis of any law is in clear contradiction of various provisions of constitution of
Pakistan when the Supreme Court of Pakistan has already held that constituencies in Karachi
may be demarcated afresh giving representation to all communities living there. Thus in the
name of decentralization, Karachi has been completely centralized eliminating the
representation of indigenous and other communities by handing over them to the wolves of the
city. District Council, Karachi which comprised of 70% of the rural areas of Karachi has been
done away with, thus dealing a severe blow to Sindhi and Balochi population of Karachi. The
fate of Sindhi and Baloch people has been consigned to an extremist group who has a history of
terrorism, vandalism, torture, mass killings, murder and mayhem. This system of ethnic
supremacy reminds Sindhi people one of the sad parts of their history when Prime Minister,
Liaquat Ali Khan within one year of Indian partition in 1947 separated Karachi from rest of
Sindh in July, 1948. Again in 1954, the central government imposed infamous one unit
abolishing the provincial status of Sindh and making it a part of Punjab. Throughout the
history of Pakistan, Sindhis have waged struggle against various onslaughts on the sovereignty and unity of Sindh. PPP Government has again violated the sovereignty of Sindh by enacting
SPLG Act, 2012 which is no less harmful than Establishment of West Pakistan Act, 1955.
(2) POWERS OF METROPOLITAN CORPORATION KARACHI
Without any iota of doubt, so called Karachi Metropolitan Corporation of Karachi has been
created like a state within state. Under sections 14, 38, 39 and schedule 1 of the Sindh Peoples
Local Government Act, 2012, it has been given vast authority and list of subjects much wider in
scale than the powers and subjects given to Federal Government under schedule 4 of the
Under Section 14(5) it has been empowered to establish any office or activity
which power even the Federal Government does not possess as it can establish only those
departments, divisions or Ministries which are enumerated in schedule 4 of the Constitution.
Under Article 137 of the Constitution, Sindh Assembly has no power to transfer the executive
authority of the Provincial Government to any other authority. Since there is trichotomy of the
powers under the constitution, one organ of the state, particularly a legislative organ cannot
snatch executive authority from the provincial government. Sindh Assembly acted in gross
violation of law by passing a piece of legislation which it had no authority to enact. Despite
opposition and uproar and a missing chapter 18 and 7 schedules from the statue called SPLGA,
Act, 2012, the speaker of the Assembly went ahead with the passing of bill thus repeating
history of his traitor uncle Ayub Khuhro who in the same manner had cajoled and coerced the
members of Sindh Assembly in 1954 to pass an infamous one unit Bill in 1954. Speaker, Nisar
Khuhro, being a custodian of the house, not only violated rules of the Assembly but committed
an act of treachery.
Under the aforesaid sections and Schedule 1, the Metropolitan Corporations will have 43
departments with their own administration headed by a grade 20 Chief Officer who will be the
head of District administration. Strangely enough, Sindh government has also 43 departments.
Following departments will work under Mayor of Metropolitan Corporation.
1. Primary, vocational and continuing education. (2) Literacy (3) Health including
basic and rural health centers, child health, women health and hospitals (4) Civil
Defense (5) Community development and organization (6) Fisheries (7) Social
Welfare (8) Sports and Sport Boards (9) Culture (10) Co-operation department (11)
Finance, Budget and Accounts (12) KDA, KMC lands and Estate department (13)
Property Tax (14) Housing (15) Physical planning (16) Public health engineering (17)
Transport (18) Master plans, zoning and clarification of lands (19) Water Board and
other water authorities (20) law and order (21) Law and legal drafting (22)
Encroachments (23) Market Committees (24) Natural Disasters (25) Co-ordination
(26) Environment (27) Human Resources (28) Information technology (29) Works
and Services (30) Land control and land use (31) Land Revenue Co-ordination (32)
Enterprises (33) Investment (34) Industry and Industrial Estates (35) Dams and water
reservoirs (36) Energy (37) Police and crimes control (38) Planning and Development
(39) Data Base (40) Historical and cultural sites (41) Regional markets and
commercial centers (42) Coastal Development (43) Prosecution of offences under
chapter XVII of the Act.
It is astonishing that Sindh government has 43 departments and the Metropolitan
Corporations will also have same number of departments. Apart from above departments,
the MCs have been given judicial powers under sections 109, 133, 143, 144 and 145 of the Cr.
P. C. They shall also exercise powers under sections 30A to 34-B of the Police Act, 1861.
Section 109 pertains to preventive detention, 133 and 143 to public nuisances, section 144 to
ban any sort of activity including freedom of movement. Under section 145, Mayor has been
empowered to attach a property of any citizen in case of dispute over title of the property.
Interestingly, these powers, at present, are being exercised by Judiciary and police and
previously, they were conferred on District magistrates and sub divisional Magistrates.
Under section 201, the Mayor could be chairman of development authorities of Malir, Layari
and Hyderabad. Under Section 64 and 149 he will exercise complete control over town
Chairmen unlike Mushraff system. Under Section 23, Mayor could only be removed by two third majority when the Chief Minister can be removed by simple majority of the house.
Under section 28(e) Mayor will implement Provincial and Federal Laws, under Section 29,
he can take disciplinary action against officers of Administration headed by Chief Officer
and he has been empowered to initiate ACRs of the officers.
Under this arrangement, two parallel administrations will be working in the province:
one under the Chief Officer controlled by Mayor and another under Deputy
Commissioner who shall be responsible to Chief Minister. The administration headed
by Mayor will be all resourceful and powerful whereas the administration working under Deputy Commissioner and instructed by Chief Minister will be nominal, weak
and toothless having no authority whatsoever. This system is more lethal than
Musharaff’s SLGO of 2001 as under that system power and authority over 12
departments was shared by the Provincial as well as Local Governments. Under this
system, Metropolitan Corporation will have 43 departments instead of 12 under
Mushraff system which stand completely transferred to them. Under this black Act, the
departmental authority will not be shared by provincial government and councils
rather it has been transferred to MCs to the total exclusion of Sindh government. This
system will sow the seeds of conflict and enmity between Sindhi and Urdu speaking
Sindhis and will divide mother Sindh on ethnic basis.
(3) FINANCIAL BASIS
Municipal institutions throughout their history in Sindh right from 1910 to 2001 catered
to their needs from their own taxes including octri tax, local cess, rents and other fees.
However, with the sharing of authority over 12 departments under Sindh Local
Government Ordinance, 2001, Provincial Finance commission was created on the pattern of National Finance Commission under Article 160 of the constitution to divide tax revenue between Federal and Provincial governments. Similar arrangement has been made under section 124 and 126 of the SLGA 2012. Under section 116, the accounts of the councils shall be kept in a manner approved by the President of Pakistan. Besides, property tax has also been transferred to Metropolitan Corporations. Thus Metropolitan corporations will have their own taxes, plus property tax as well as right over the
finances of the Provincial Government. The Metropolitan Corporations will be fed from
the finances of provincial government and provincial governments will only be serving
as post offices. History is witness to the fact that encroachment over the powers and
authority of the Province of Sindh has been anathema to Sindhis. On the one hand,
centre has usurped the sovereignty and resources of the province and on the other Local
Government system has been tailored to snatch the sovereignty and authority of the
province. It is beyond any shadow of doubt that all powers and authority of the
Province including coastal islands and finance has been transferred to the Karachi
Metropolitan Corporation which will be established on the basis of undemocratic
Principles eliminating the representation of Sindhi and Baloch people and will be a state
PPP Government, through its inept and treacherous policy, has repeated history when
Chanesar, a local traitor entered into an agreement with Alauddin Khilji of Dehli to
attack Sindh. Great Dodo Soomro fought a valiant struggle against Dehli Rule. This
black law on the basis of PPP-Mutahida agreement could be compared only with
Chanesar-Khilji agreement to snatch sovereignty of Sindh. Therefore, we call upon all
the loyal sons and daughters of Sindh to resist this fascist and anti-Sindh black law by
following in the footsteps of Great Dodo and defeat the PPP government who has imposed a war-like terms on Sindh.
SINDH BACHAYO COMMITTEE
Hyder Manzil, Karachi