SUKKUR: The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA), currently engaged in political manoeuvring amid persisting uncertainty about future of the Sindh government, held a crucial meeting on Sunday at Gohar Palace in Khangarh, Ghotki district, ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Jan 27 visit to Sindh.
The meeting was presided over by GDA chief Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi (Pir Sahib Pagara) and attended by other top alliance leaders including Pir Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi, Ayaz Latif Palijo, Dr Hasnain Mirza, Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Irfanullah Marwat, Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi, Ghous Bakhsh Khan Mahar and the host, MPA Sardar Ali Gohar Khan Mahar.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, both Sardar Mahar and GDA secretary general Ayaz Palijo said that a “change” in Sindh through constitutional means was discussed. They said the alliance would continue to support Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf as its ally at the Centre as there was a consensus among leaderships of both entities, as well as all other stakeholders of the state, on rooting out corruption from the country.
‘Constitutional change’ in Sindh discussed, required support within assembly claimed
Regarding GDA’s efforts to dislodge Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) from power corridors in Sindh, Mr Palijo argued that the PPP government had destroyed the agriculture sector in the province over the decade-long rule over it, besides plaguing all departments with corruption.
“They have devastated growers in Sindh,” he said, adding that the province was not getting its due share in the Indus water while Wapda and the Indus River System Authority (Irsa) remained indifferent to the issue.
Mr Palijo categorically stated that the GDA would not support any unconstitutional move aimed about a change of government in Sindh. He said GDA would play a vital role in bringing about such a change through constitutional moves. “There are dozens of members of the Sindh Assembly in contact with Pir Pagara and Sardar Ali Gohar Khan Mahar who are willing to support such a move,” he said.
He said GDA had already started mobilising public support from Ghotki district and similar efforts would be made in all other districts very soon. He said GDA’s aim was to make the country corruption-free.
Any strategy in this regard, if chalked out, would certainly be a joint effort of the GDA and PTI, he said.
Pir Sadaruddin Shah Rashdi told the media said there would be an in-house change in the Sindh Assembly. It would not come through unconstitutional means, he said, adding that GDA would not be part of any unconstitutional change.
Referring to PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s warning to the PTI government over a possible “invasion of Islamabad” by oppressed people of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pir Rashdi said: “The Zardari party is not strong enough to invade even Ghotki let alone Islamabad … the party has done massive corruption in Sindh … they have to face accountability first”
Commenting on Prime Minister’s scheduled visit to Ghotki, MPA Ali Gohar Mahar said that he would seek a big package for Sindh from the Centre which should include establishment of a university in Ghotki.
He said many areas of the district were without gas though it was the first area of Sindh where natural gas was discovered in 1993 and first well of the province was sunk here. No other benefits were being given to Ghotki against the gas deposits and supplies.
Former chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim said that the prime minister was coming to Sindh to know about the issues confronting Sindh. He said Mr Khan would be apprised of all pressing issues. He said there were certain issues supposed to be addressed by the provincial government but it was shifting all responsibilities to the federal government.
He hinted that a change in Sindh was imminent “once the accountability process in the province is completed”.
After the meeting, Pir Pagara left for the Tar Ghar bungalow — the residence of Sardar Ali Gohar Mahar in Sardar Garh — for an overnight stay.