Govt has no objection to sharing power with Opp: Sindh CM
By Shahzad Raza
ISLAMABAD: The government has no objection to sharing power with the opposition, said Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, the Sindh chief minister, on Tuesday.
Talking to a group of journalists at Sindh House, he said there was a possibility of sharing power with one or more opposition forces under a “national reconciliation”. Rahim was speaking after attending a meeting on the country’s political situation that was chaired by President General Pervez Musharraf. The meeting also reviewed preparations for the upcoming local government elections. The parliamentary leaders of the ruling coalition and chief ministers of Punjab and Balochistan also attended the meeting. Sources said none of the participants objected to a reconciliation with the opposition.
The president asked the participants to prepare plans to ensure victory in the local government polls.
“We don’t have any objection if they (opposition) want to come into power through a shortcut under national reconciliation,” said Rahim. Asked to specify what he meant by “national reconciliation,” he said it could be defined as sharing power. The chief minister said the issuance of a passport to Asif Ali Zardari and his removal from the Exit Control List were part of the national reconciliation. He said the government would have no objection if Zardari went abroad and predicted that if he did, he would not return. According to Dr Farooq Sattar, the MQM parliamentary leader in the National Assembly, the meeting focussed on the local bodies elections.
The Sindh chief minister ruled out the chance of early general elections in the country. He said the meeting did not discuss the president’s uniform. “We have already given him a mandate to keep the military office. There is no more room for discussion on this issue.”
He justified the bifurcation of some districts in his province, saying the decision was made to facilitate the general public. He said an inquiry had begun into the killing of four citizens during recent riots against the districts’ bifurcation.
Rahim said the meeting proposed that city districts should be established in both Sindh and Punjab. He said the police had launched comprehensive search operations in Shikarpur district to recover the kidnapped session judges and was confident they would be found soon. Rahim said the Sindh finance minister had completed preparations for upcoming meetings on the National Finance Commission award. He said the meetings would be held subject to the availability of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.