Sindh

Murad Ali Shah takes oath as Sindh Chief Minister

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KARACHI: Syed Murad Ali Shah has taken oath as the new Chief Minister of Sindh. The oath was administered by Governor Sindh Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad at the Governor’s House. 

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto was also present on the occasion to witness the oath-taking ceremony. Murad Ali Shah is the sixth Chief Minister who has taken oath from Dr. Ishrat-ul-Ebad.

Earlier, Murad Ali Shah was elected as the Chief Minister with a huge margin. He received 88 votes to become the 27th Chief Minister of Sindh. The only other candidate Khurram Sherzaman of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) managed to receive only three votes.

The Muthaida Quami Movement (MQM) which is the second largest party in the Sindh Assembly abstained from the vote along with the Pakistan Muslim League – Functional (PML-F).

The results were announced by Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani which was received by applause and slogans. Several PPP leaders including Nisar Khuhro and ex-Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah congratulated him in their respective speeches.

The voting is being held in the wake of resignation of Syed Qaim Ali Shah who stepped down after a decision was taken by the senior leadership of the PPP. Sindh Assembly adopted the method of vote by division which separated the house into two groups.

All the members of the provincial assembly were given the opportunity to cast their votes individually. Qaim Ali Shah was the first one to cast the vote after the doors of the house were closed at 4PM.

Murad Ali Shah, who was the Minister for Finance in the cabinet of Qaim Ali Shah, was tipped as the likely candidate to make a smooth victory since the PPP has a majority in the provincial legislature and could elect the leader of the house without support from any other party.

OPPOSITION PARTIES

The MQM  which has 50 seats in the provincial assembly  boycotted the electoral process. The decision was taken after the joint session of the party’s coordination committee. It had criticised the PPP and said that there was no hope for people of Sindh with the change of face, and it would not make a difference whether they support or oppose it.

The problem-plagued MQM is faced with several problem including defections to the Pak Zarzameen Party (PSP) of Mustafa Kamal. Several members are currently out of the country due to various reasons, while some are facing a barrage of criminal cases against them.

MQM desisted from the elections in the session while other opposition parties such as Pakistan Muslim League–Functional (PML-F) and Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) chose to stay neutral and abstain from the vote.

However, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) decided to field its own candidate and not elect  Murad Ali Shah unopposed. However, this proved a token meansure as Khurram Sher Zaman managed to receive just three votes.

The PPP decided to replace Qaim Ali Shah during a high-level meeting in Dubai on July 24 convened by Chairman and former President Asif Ali Zardari. The meeting was actually arranged for finalise the decision to extend the special policing powers of Rangers in Karachi and beyond in the province of Sindh.

Qaim Ali Shah had accepted decision taken by the party, and welcomed Murad Ali Shah’s nomination and claimed that were no rifts within the PPP. This drew the curtain on the eight year reign as the executive of the province.

WHO IS MURAD ALI SHAH? 

The 53-year-old was born in Karachi and is the son of Syed Abdullah Shah – a key name during the famous Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD) against the Zia tenure. His father was also the Chief Minister of Sindh from 1993 to 1996 during the government of Benazir Bhutto.

He received BE in Civil Technology from NED University Karachi in the year 1986. He is also an alumni of the esteemed Stanford University California where he earned MSc degrees in Civil/Structure Engineering in 1987 and Economic Systems in 1993 to become a qualified and learned engineer.

Murad Ali Shah started his career as a junior engineer in the federal government with Pakistan Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) in 1986. Before he entered politics, he had also been a part of Hyderabad Development Authority and Karachi Fish Harbour Authority during his professional career.

Like his father, he finally made an entry into politics in 2002 as a member of the Sindh Assembly. He also performed the responsibility of advisor to the chief minister and was elected to the Sindh Assembly from PS-73 Jamshoro following its creation in 2002 polls.

Murad Ali Shah was elected to the same seat from 2002-2007 and during by-polls in 2014. During 2008, after being elected an MPA from Jamshoro, he served as finance minister in Sindh government.

Unfortunately, he had to face criticism and later disqualification from the 2013 general elections because of his dual citizenship at the time – a condition that barred many politicians from contesting the much-talked-about polls. He relinquished his Canadian citizenship  to contest by-polls in 2014.

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