DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT IN PAKSITAN ON CARDS. BY ABBAS KASSAR
29 Jul 2003
HYDERABAD. August 31,2003: The Taluka Nazims (the elected administrators of Taluka municipal towns) of Sindh, the fourth and politically volatile province of Pakistan including Karachi have demanded dissolution of National and Provincial Assemblies as according to them these assemblies have failed to do any legislation since their inception 11 months ago. This and other demands were raised in the first convention of Nazims of Taluka/Towns municipal administrations of Sindh held here on Sunday. More than 50 Nasims out of 86 attended the convention from all 16 districts of the province including Karachi. The convention formed Sindh Taluka/Town Nazims Alliance and elected its office bearers.
Sardar Ghulam Mustafa Khaskheli Taluka Nazim of Samaro district Mirpurkhas was elected its first President while Abdul Jabbar Khan, Taluka Nazim of Latifabad was elected General Secretary of STNA.Addressing the convention Sardar Ghulam Mustafa Khaskheli said that it was deplorable that the elected members of National and Provincial Assemblies have done no legislation work during last 11 months except raising only issue of Legal Framework Order (LFO). He said the Assemblies Members have proved from their conduct that they were burden on national exchequer as such demanded dissolution of national and all 4 provincial assemblies and shifting of power to District and Taluka Administrations. He said the success of Local Government system introduced by President Pervez Mushraf in 2001 was the need of Pakistan. He said the President has abolished 160 years system of bureaucracy and the main hurdle in way of success of this system were being created by these very bureaucrats. The Nazim!S of Various towns of Sindh complained of interference in their work by the provincial ministers belonging to political party, which had boycotted the local council polls. They complained that many town nazims were being removed through no confidence motions, which they alleged were politically, motivates. They threatened that in future if no confidence motion was brought against any Nazim in Sindh it would be resisted by calling three days wheel jam strike throughout Sindh.
The local government system first was introduced in Pakistan by then Chief Martial Law Administrator General Ayub Khan in 1960.It was again made functional by General Ziaul Haq, another Military ruler who ruled the country from 1977 to 1988.Now the army chief General Pervez Mushraf who was ruling the country since he toppled the elected Prime Minister Nawaz Sharf (presently in exile in Saudi Arabai) in October 1999.Though he had held elections in 2002 and appointed Zafruallah Jamali, a civilian, as Prime Minister but the real power still rests with the ruling generals.
The large parliamentary groups of Mutehida Majlis Amal (an alliance of 6 big religious parties), Pakistan Peoples Party led by former Prime Minister Ms.Benazir Bhutto, also residing in exile at Dubai because of cases against her in Pakistan. Her husband Asif Ali Zardari was in prison since last more than 5 years when Benazir's government was dismissed in November 1996.
General Pervez Mushraf, who had got himself elected through Sadam style referendum in 2002,has amended the constitution under his Legal Framework Order under the provisions of which tow times former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto were barred from holding the same office for third time. Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party and Nawaz Sharif's Muslim League (N) have joined hands with the Mutehida Majlis Amal of religious alliance against General Mushraf and were agitating in and outside the Parliament. All the these parties plus Tehrik Insaaf of former cricket captain Imran Khan who had won cricket world cup for country in 1992,have formed joint opposition alliance under name of Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD). They were giving tough time to president General Mushraf. Their demands include withdrawal of amendments in country's 1973 constitution under executive order named Legal Framework Order (LFO) which the General was not ready to get approval from the!
The joint opposition was agitating against General Mushraf urging him to remove his Army Chief uniform and get himself elected through parliament. The President General Mushraf had in this city of Hyderabad (Sindh) said during a news conference the other day that he would not remove the general's uniform and if the opposition did not endorse his LFO, he would dissolve the parliament. He also refused to give up the mega dam project of Kala Bagh dam against which the nationalists parties of Sindh province were protesting since last more than 3 months. Thy had taken out rallies against the Kala Bagh dam as well as against the rule of General Pervez Mushraf throughout the province. The fifth phase of rallies was taken out from 28 August 2003, which marched from Hyderabad to Larkana, and on 31 August it has marched from Jaccobad town to Obaro the home place of Sindh Chief Minister Sardar Ali Mohamemd Mahar. The leader of Sindhi nationalists Rasool Bux Palijo had called president General Mus!hraf as enemy of Sindh. He had said that Sindh would never allow the Generals to construct the dam and vowed that the Kala Bagh dam will be built on the dead bodies of 40 million Sindhis.
In such a bitter opposition the General can find respite under the demand of Nazims who are administrators of 86 municipal towns of Sindh, that national and provincial legislatures be dissolved. The convention of the town nazims of all 16 districts of Sindh is seen here as held on instigation of the powers that be. If the general Mushraf desires to get rid of the opposition he could find refuge under resolution of the Nazims and may act against the parliament without giving consideration to the fact that his action of dissolution of elected parliament could further plunge the country into political chaos.