Changes in Sindh's LG law 'danger to Pakistan', says Asad Umar

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Sunday termed the recent amendments to the Sindh local government law "a danger to Pakistan", saying it divested the public representatives at the grassroots level of powers and autonomy.

The amended local government bill was passed by the Sindh Assembly on Nov 26, 2021 amid strong protest and boycott of the proceedings by the opposition parties, who objected to what termed the curtailment of powers of elected representatives under the new legislation.

The opposition parties — mainly Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, Jamaat-i-Islami, Pak Sarzameen Party and Grand Democratic Alliance — in the province have been staging protests and clamouring to repeal the amendments.

PSP chairman Syed Mustafa Kamal, whose party has no representation in the assembly, had also announced launching what he called a decisive movement from Jan 2 against the LG law.

In his presser in Karachi today, Umar said Pakistan would continue to be embroiled in "tension" until provinces, Sindh in particular, fairly devolved powers at the grassroots level. "The devolution of power to the local level is quite necessary for democracy and governance in the country."

The minister said an each province comprised people from different ethnic backgrounds and "for that reason, the entire country should not be run from Islamabad, as we need to empower the lower segment," he added.