Why amendment in Sindh local body act controversial for city?

KARACHI: Despite its month-long sit-in outside Sindh Assembly, in the wake of ‘Sindh Local Government Act, 2021’ passage on Dec 11, right-wing party Jamaat-e-Islami bargained less than it was set out to, ‘betraying their weariness and desperation’, which the ruling Pakistan People’s Party leveraged during negotiations barely days ahead of Pakistan Super League’s 7th edition.

JI wanted to get anything out of the protest, even if it means peanuts, because it was overstaying it’s capacity, said Zahid Farooq or Urban Resource Center.

JI wanted to end the protest because it couldn’t withhold the pressure from exhausted supporters and expenditure during lasting sit-ins, while PPP wanted to sweep them off ahead of PSL for security purpose while at the same time it had to make a hero out of some party which couldn’t possibly be MQM-P or PTI for obvious reasons.

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Instead of acting on the Constitution articles 32 and 140 (a) in letter and spirit and devolving powers to grassroots levels, the Sindh government’s amendment has further incapacitated the local governments and has concentrated power, says urban policy expert Dr Nausheen Anwar talking to ARY News.

They never consulted any of the civil society or local representatives and such hurried and desperate attempts, devoid of any homework, to consolidate power are always detrimental to urban planning, she said.

Asim Bashir Khan, a public finance expert, said the amendment will only further hurt Karachi development that already has seen detrimental policies over the decades. Even its PFC has not been revised since the day the 18th constitutional amendment was passed which is quite ironic, Khan said.