Mirza likely to replace Shah as Sindh CM

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari has decided in principle to change Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah with former provincial Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza to restore law and order in restive Karachi.According to sources very well-placed sources in Presidency, the President during his ongoing UK visit would consult MQM chief Altaf Hussain in this regard as their meeting was on cards during next couple of days in London.“President Zardari has already got clearance for Dr Mirza as Chief Minister from the defense quarters, as well” the sources told Media. All key political allies both within and outside PPP except for the MQM have also favored proposed change of Chief Minister Sindh.“Constantly deteriorating state of security in Karachi, the provincial as well as the financial capital of the country has forced the PPP leadership to look for a Chief Minister other than Syed Qaim Ali Shah,” the sources said. “Mirza’s performance as former Home Minister certifies his credential to handle at least the law and order in the largest metropolis of the country,” the sources added.The sources were of the view that the President was most likely to go ahead with the change in his capacity of Co-Chairman of the ruling party even if the MQM objects to it. “Initially, the President would try to convince MQM leader to support his idea of changing the Chief Minister of the province for effective security alone,” the sources said adding “refusal to accept President’s proposal could be costlier for MQM.”

Previously, Mirza was asked to step down as Home Minister only because of the MQM’s frictions with him. “That was a different ball game, as PML-Q was not part of the government by then and the PPP government was in need of MQM as coalition partner for simple majority in the National Assembly,” the sources added. Notwithstanding, anti-government statements, boycott of AJK elections, and threats to quit again, the MQM has no longer that much of bargaining chip in hand, after the PPP has secured sufficient majority having PML-Q in coalition besides ANP, the sources maintained. – Onlinenews