Zardari agrees on greater powers to Rangers in Sindh

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Qaim ready to accept party decision; Murad Ali Shah unanimous candidate for CM slot

Staff Reporter

Karachi—PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has decided not only to restore original powers to Rangers in Sindh, but bless them with greater authority than before, said an announcement from the party headquarters here.
He took that decision in the light of discussion with party veterans, and younger ones like Bilawal, or sister Faryal, Rehman Malik, Qaim Ali Shah. Insiders said that opinion was divided within the party as to whether the Para-military force be allowed to operate only in Karachi or whole of Sindh,
Those favouring the latter proposal won and Zardari himself went for that. He ordered the chief minister to get the summary of enhanced powers for rangers signed by Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and enforce the law as soon as possible to avoid interruption in on-going operations in Karachi, or elsewhere. DG Rangers is being intimated about the extrusion of term and enhancement of Rangers Powers.
A day after the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) announced its decision to replace Syed Qaim Ali Shah as the chief minister of Sindh, he said he was willing to accept any decision made by party leaders.
“My fate as Sindh CM is in the hands of the party leaders and I will accept any decision they take about me,” CM Shah said upon his arrival from Dubai on Monday.
The decision about Qaim removal was taken at a meeting co-chaired by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in Dubai on Sunday.
Attendees included Chief Minister Shah, Senior Minister Murad Ali Shah, Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab former federal interior minister Rehman Malik, MNA Faryal Talpur and ex-secretary general of the party Latif Khosa.
PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar in a statement issued on Sunday after the Dubai meeting said,
“Today, the PPP decided to make changes in the Sindh cabinet, including bringing in a new chief minister,”
The PPP chairman took the decision after reviewing the overall situation in the province and discussing the matter with all party leaders.
While the party did not cite any reasons for the removal of the chief minister, sources say Qaim had a soft corner for the Rangers and was in favour of extending policing powers of the paramilitary force in the province.
Recently, when the policing powers for Rangers expired, Qaim had attempted to convince the party’s leadership (Zardari) to grant an extension in the powers for the sake of peace in Karachi; however, it seemed to have not gone down well.
This was Qaim’s third tenure as chief minister. He spent nearly 10 years in the office, the longest period among his peers. He, however, faced scathing criticism during his past two tenures with allegations ranging from bad governance to incompetence in handling various governmental issues.
Since the party has a simple majority in the Sindh Assembly, it can easily elect a new leader of the house. It has 92 legislators, followed by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement with 51 MPAs, PML-Functional 11, PML-N 10 and PTI has three members.
The PPP does not need any party’s support since it has the majority to elect a new leader of the house who will become the chief minister.
Sources said the party is expected to convene a meeting today (Tuesday) in Karachi where Shah will formally tender his resignation, and the party will announce his replacement.
A few names are already making rounds in the political circles for the coveted post. Murad Ali Shah, a senior minister for finance, energy, planning and development, is said to be a unanimous candidate for the slot.

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