Nasir MahmoodFriday, November 11, 2011 - Karachi—Commissionerate system in Sindh has been restored and notification in this regard has also been issued.
According to details the notification was issued after consensus was reached between the coalition partners in Sindh government. Accordingly the Commissionerate System, Sindh Local Government Ordinance 1979 and Police Act 1861 have been restored. According to the notification, the current DCOs will act as commissioners and deputy commissioners. Five divisions of Karachi have also been restored. Karachi will have to be divided into five districts.
Five divisions of Sindh will be revived including Hyderabad, Sukkhur, Mirpur Khas, Karachi and Larkana. The new system will replace DCOs by commissioners in their respective divisions.
Sindh Government has seized all the accounts maintained by City and/or District governments under the previous administrative system. Under the new system, the financial affairs will be carried out through divisional commissioners. According to Notification issued by Sindh Finance Department, the accounts being maintained under the previous local bodies system including those of city, district, towns, taluka and union councils had been seized.
It is further said that as a result of the restoration of Local Government Ordinance 1979, funds would now be provided to commissioners for running the affairs at division and district levels. The Local Bodies Department has also issued orders for scraping all the administrative set up of the previous city government along with all the district, town and taluka governments.
According to sources, an accord struck between the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had finally led to the revival of the Commissionerate system 1979 in Sindh, which was notified officially late on Wednesday night. Last week, Chief Secretary Sindh had signed a notification dated Nov 5, 2011 to this effect that was held up owing to the Eidul Azha holidays and consultations that were under way. As a result, the old status of Karachi has been revived and the city is once again made up of five districts.
The Sindh government also notified the commissioners in all five divisional headquarters of the province and in all five districts of Karachi. Roshan Ali Sheikh has been appointed Commissioner Karachi, Ahmed Bakhsh Narejo, Commissioner Hyderabad, Ghulam Hussain Memon, Commissioner Mirpur Khas, Inamullah Dharejo, Commissioner Sukkhur, while Abdul Aleem Lashari has been given the charge of Commissioner Larkana Division.
The government also appointed deputy commissioners (DC) for the five districts of Karachi - East, West, South, Central and Malir. Mustafa Jamal Qazi has been appointed DC (South), Ghanhwar Leghari DC (West), Shaukat Jokhio DC (Malir), Matanat Ali Khan DC (Central) and Qazi Jan Muhammad DC (East).
Experts see it as a ‘pro tem’ arrangement for it may only be in place as long as MQM does not change its mind, which it might, evident form the historical ties between the two coalition partners bound to each other in a fiery love-hate affair. According to details an ordinance promulgated by Governor Sindh, Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad went null & void on the midnight of November 4, 2011 restoring Karachi’s all five districts along with their administration. All the Commissioners and DCOs have been invested with due authorities so that they could become ‘the powers that be’ to run the affairs of the districts they oversee in an appropriate fashion.
Apart from the CDGK, accounts of other district governments and tehsil municipal administrations have been also frozen across the province. Sindh Government has issued an official notification, stating that till further orders accounts of all town municipal administrations and union councils will remain frozen. According to the official notification of Sindh Government, all eighteen towns of Karachi have been also eliminated this day.
The government order, however, doesn’t restore the previous position of Hyderabad district. Sindh local government ordinance, which had reversed the promulgation of Commissioner System, lapsed at midnight on Friday, thereby reviving a notification about the system, Land Revenue Act and other related matters.
New ordinance of Sindh local government will soon be tabled in the provincial legislature by the coalition partners People’s Party and the MQM. Sindh coalition partners have agreed over amendment in the local government law under which five districts will be carved out in Karachi and four in Hyderabad.
Citizens of the province voiced mixed reaction over the restoration of the old system. They said the development projects should not be affected with the restoration of the Commissionerate System. After restoration of the old LG systems, number of divisions surged to 27 from 23 in the province. Hyderabad Division will include nine districts i.e. Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Matiari, Badin, Thatta, Dadu, Jamshoro and Benazirabad. Sukkur Division now comprises four districts Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur and Naushero Feroze. Larkana Division will have five districts including Larkana, Qambar, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Kashmore. Under the freshly installed system, Mirpur Khas Division will contain four districts Mirpur Khas, Umerkot, Tharparkar and Sanghar. Municipal Corporations have replaced the old district governments in the province with District Councils’ old status has been restored.