Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Syed Murad Ali Shah was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the country’s southern Sindh province. He took oath as the twenty-fourth CM of the province on Saturday at a ceremony held at the Governor House. Shah replaced the long serving octogenarian Syed Qaim Ali Shah in the key position in the PPP governed province.
Qaim Ali Shah was asked to step down by the top leadership of the party during meetings held in Dubai last weekend. Earlier on Saturday, Murad, son of former chief minister of the province Abdullah Shah, was elected in the session of the Sindh Assembly. Shah secured 88 votes in favour, while three votes were cast in favour of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Khurram Sher Zaman. In a widely expected move earlier, the PPP had formally nominated senior minister Syed Murad Ali Shah as chief minister after Qaim Ali Shah handed in his resignation earlier this week.
Murad Ali Shah is a seasoned politician having been elected to the provincial assembly from the Jamshoro constituency PS-73 since its creation in the 2002 general elections. He was elected to the seat from 2002-2007, and was elected again on the same seat during by-polls in 2014. Shah was disqualified from the 2013 general election as he held Canadian citizenship at the time. He later renounced his Canadian citizenship so he could contest by-polls in 2014.
Qaim Ali Shah, 83, who has survived several attempts to remove him as CM in the past said he accepted any party decision and would abide by it and tendered his resignation to the Governor after returning from Dubai. Sources said that the declining law-and-order situation in the province and the growing influence of the Rangers were among the reasons for the central PPP leadership to remove Qaim Ali Shah.
Karachi, a metropolis of around 20 million people, remains the economic and financial hub of the country but its worsening law-and-order situation had increased the pressure on the PPP high command to change the leadership. Earlier this week two military personnel were shot dead in a target killing in the busy Saddar area of the city.