Karachi: Sindh United Party has refused to extend any cooperation to the leadership of Pakistan Muslim League (N) for its movement against the present rulers, unless it accepts the 25-point Charter prepared by SUP for complete provincial autonomy.
The PML-N has its own concept on provincial autonomy, but we don t agree to it. We have handed them our Charter, Syed Jalal Mahmood Shah, president, Sindh United Party, told PPI.
We will consider cooperating with PML-N even if it accepted our Charter but will not merge the party to it, he said to a question.
The SUP chief, who is the grandson of Saeen G. M. Syed, the founder of Jeay Sindh Tehreek, said, We don t accept 18th Amendment in the 1973 Constitution, as it doesn t give complete autonomy to the provinces. Under the 18th Amendment, the Center continues to dictate the provinces and they have no right to rule. We want right of provinces over the natural resources and collection of taxes.
Currently, the Center collects all revenues and provinces are given share from Federal Divisible Pool but we are opposed to it. The provinces should be authorized to revenue collection and sharing for meeting the expenditures of Center, Jalal said adding that Sindh and other small provinces didn t benefit from NFC Award given by present coalition government.
The SUP chief also showed reservations on format of Senate, the upper house of country, and said there are four federating units but non-federating units like Islamabad and certain other areas too have been given representation in the Senate which is unjust. He said his party favors direct polls for the Senate.
The provinces have also no say in framing the foreign and interior policies, he added.
The SUP is also opposed to present criteria of appointing the provincial Governors. The existing criterion of appointing a Governor by the President was adopted during British era that should be changed. The members of national assembly and senate should elect the Governors for a specific period of three or four years, he said.
To another question, Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah said Tehreek-e-Insaf, Jamaat-e-Islami and other parties too have provincial autonomy programs but their concepts are ambiguous.
Responding to another query about Mumtaz Ali Bhutto s joining PML-N, the SUP chief said his move was the result of an utter despair. Mumtaz Bhutto was in contact with PML-N leadership since two or three years, as he couldn t get positive response to his struggle over the years. He might be feeling comfortable now.
When asked, he agreed that Mumtaz Bhutto s joining of PML-N has harmed the nationalist forces in Sindh to some extent. The federalist parties believing in strong Center have always caused damage to nationalist movement.
Syed Jalal Shah said they had requested Mumtaz Ali Bhutto to lead the nationalist movement but he was so despair.
About any possibility of forming a greater alliance of nationalist organizations of Sindh in future, he said three parties Sindh United Party (SUP), Awami Tehreek (AT) of Ayaz Latif Palijo and Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STPP) were already in alliance known as Sindh Progressive Nationalists Alliance (SPNA), which is going to meet shortly to devise future line of action. All these three parties are struggling for the provincial rights remaining within the federation, he added.