Amid much uproar and protest from coalition lawmakers and nationalist parties, the Sindh Assembly on Monday passed the controversial Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO).

Provincial Law Minister Ayaz Somro tabled the bill the lawmakers approved it clause by clause by raising their hands.

The majority of 149 MPAs supported the bill while 18 members belonging to Pakistan Muslim league-Functional-(PML-F), National People’s Party (NPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Q and Awami National Party (ANP) opposed the new local government system.

The protesting members tore copies of the ordinance as the minister read it out to the assembly.

Coalition partners of the PPP had earlier also staged a protest in front of Speaker Sindh Assembly Nisar Khuhro’s dais as their request for sitting on the opposition benches was not fulfilled.

Jam Madad Ali had requested the speaker to allot them opposition benches as they had left the coalition to protest against the ordinance.

The request was followed by an altercation in the assembly and the members of the opposition sat on the floor in front of the speaker’s dais, with black bands strapped around their arms.

The speaker ruled that the seats were allotted to other members of the assembly, including some ministers and hence they could not be allotted as yet.

It is vital to mention here that Sindhi nationalists are observing strike against the SPLGO and termed the new local government system a conspiracy to divide the province.

The government bill on the new local government system is based on the recently promulgated the Sindh People’s Local Government Ordinance 2012.

Initially‚ the new system will be functional in five districts of the province which include Karachi‚ Hyderabad‚ Sukkhar‚ Larkana and Mirpurkhas.

These cities have been declared metropolitan corporations. Remaining parts of the province will have eighteen district councils. Under the new system Karachi will have eighteen towns.

Karachi, Sindh Peoples Local Government System Ordinance, Nisar Khuru, Speaker Sindh Assembly Sukkhar, Larkana, Karachi, MQM, PPP, ANP, PML-F, PML-Q, Ayaz Somro, NPP