TIME TO EMPOWER GOVERNOR FOR BETTER MANAGEMENT IN SINDH

Salahuddin Haider

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 – Sharif, and the Army chief, General Raheel Sharif. While the issue demands thorough study, an immediate solution could be sharing of powers between Governor and the Chief Minister.

An experiment to that effect had paid handsome dividends during the days General ® Pervez Musharraf was in the saddle. He had authorized Governor Ishratul Ebad to look after the urban areas of the southern province, while the two chief ministers in his day—Sardar Ali Mohamamad Mehar, and Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim looked after the rural folks.

The formula, invented by Musharraf, helped develop Sindh, and become a model for all the other provinces. Development work in Karachi, Hyderabad were there for everyone to emulate.

The then Nazim Mustafa Kamal, a brilliant young man, was listed as among the ten best mayors of the world. But his success, was, apart from his own determination and commitment to the cause of doing something better, was actually due to the blessings from his party , MQM, as well and the Federal government.

Unfortunate, it may sound, but during the PPP regime, from 2008 till date, management in Sindh deteriorated to the extent where it is being called the “most mismanaged province”. Corruption touched its peak in this province.

The Party in power, deprived the governor of powers normally resting with him for decades. Powers were slowly and gradually concentrated in the hands of the chief minister. Later on management of universities, and education boards, was also take back from the Governor.

The result is an obvious disaster. Recent students demonstration of mark-sheets being rigged, and continuously flowing reports of maladministration in secondary and higher education boards, brought NAB into action.

A number of senior officers of the two education boards were arrested. Some others were transferred, and a couple were jailed after NAB and FIA raids on the education boards in Karachi.

Universities, too, have been victims of deliberate neglect. The governor’s decision to appoint a vice chancellor for the DowMedical University, was challenged in court by the Sindh government. The only conclusion, thus drawn, is a complete mess in an important departments like that of Education.

The Lyari Expressway , the two Malir bridges, and many other projects, which could have been beneficial for people ofKarachi, have remained neglected, fuelling rumours of kickbacks and commission in development projects.

Fly-overs and underpasses, or road inter-sections, developed by a hard working Mustafa Kamal, and inspected at the dead of night by the Governor, have all been messed up now.

The city administration, whether working under commissioner Shoaib Siddiqi, or the KMC administrators(kept changing from time to time), suffered from complete paralysis and lack of insight. Roads are now filthy and dusty in a city like Karachi, the seventh biggest city of the world, and pride of Pakistan, and its economic hub. The Sindh administration, its ministers hardly have the time or the will to discharge their duties properly. They have failed to rise to the occasion.

Karachi is contributing 67 percent of revenue to the federal government, and over 90 percent to Sindh exchequer, and yet its water development projects like K-4, etc have remained neglected.

The city is without a proper ownership. The army chief who has done wonders in a number of fields, should now authorize the corps commander, DG Rangers to team up with Dr Ishratul Ebad, vests powers in the governor, so that urban areas are properly looked after, and universities and education boards keep working normally as before.

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