Sindh Govt. After the Pakistan Peoples Party decided to remove Qaim Ali Shah from his post as Sindh Govt chief minister media reports began circulating about who the octogenarian politician’s replacement would be.
Despite earlier reports of an imminent reshuffle in the Sindh cabinet, it appeared that even Qaim Ali Shah was not aware of his fate when he landed in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday for a meeting with PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
A senior PPP leader, requesting anonymity, told Dawn that because of his old age Shah “is not moving with the pace of time as he was supposed to”.
Besides, he said, Shah was “too soft” on certain issues, which included the current controversy surrounding the Rangers’ special powers and their action against certain individuals belonging to the PPP.
The 83-year-old Shah, who was the provincial president of PPP from 2004 until earlier this year when Bilawal dissolved all provincial bodies, had survived attempts to replace him in the past. Zardari shot down every proposal to remove him.
Syed Murad Ali Shah
PPP MPA and Provincial Finance Minister Murad Shah, 53, was born in 1962 in Karachi. An engineer by profession, Shah began his career as a junior engineer in the federal government with Wapda in 1986.
A former adviser to the chief minister, Shah has been returning to the Sindh 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.
Shah has previously held positions in the Hyderabad Development Authority and Karachi Fish Harbour Authority.
Agha Siraj Durrani
Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani is believed to be among the most trusted friends of Asif Zardari.
Born in the mid-1950s, Durrani did his matric from Karachi’s St Patrick’s School in 1971 and got his bachelor of commerce degree from Karachi. Like his elderly colleague, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Durrani got his LLB degree from Karachi’s Sindh Muslim Law College.
Durrani defeated Mir Murtaza Bhutto in the 1993 elections, but in the 1997 elections Nadir Khan Kumario defeated him — for the first time in Durrani’s PPP-affiliated career.
He was arrested in 1990 on charges of embezzlement during Nawaz Sharif’s first government and was jailed for some time. The party called it a part of political vendetta.
Durrani was local government minister in the previous PPP government and by becoming the Sindh Assembly’s speaker his family has become the first to have three men presiding on the provincial assembly through generations.
Durrani has been married to one of the sisters of Pir Pagaro Sibghatullah Shah for some 20 years.
Senior Sindh minister and former speaker of Sindh assembly, Nisar Khuhro, 65, was born in Larkana in 1950. An agriculturist by profession, Khuhro comes from a political family and started his career in the 1980s with Tehrik-e-Istiqlal, after which he joined the PPP. His father’s cousin, Ayub Khuhro, was the first chief minister of Sindh.
Khuhro was active with the PPP and served in Benazir Bhutto’s second government as minister of planning and development. He also served as District President of PPP in 1990, Vice President of PPP Sindh Govt in 1993 and President of PPP Sindh in 1997.
He was elected deputy opposition leader in the Sindh assembly in 1990 from the Larkana constituency PS-36, after which he returned as the opposition leader in 1997.
Khuhro returned to the Sindh Govt assembly from 2002-2007, and then was elected speaker of assembly unopposed in 2008.
He currently serves as the senior Sindh Minister of Education and Literacy.
Sindh minister and MPA Manzoor Wassan, 59, was born in 1957 in Khairpur.
A landlord by profession, Wassan holds a BA and an LLB from Sindh University Jamshoro. He was first elected to Sindh Assembly in 1990 and served until 1993, representing the Khairpur PS-32 constituency.
Wassan has since alternated his time between the National Assembly and Sindh Govt Assembly, serving in the former from 1993 to 1997, and 2002 to 2007, and returning to the Sindh Assembly from 1997 to 1999 and most recently in 2008 to 2013.
Wassan’s nephew Nawab Ali Wassan is also a politician who has served both in the National Assembly and the Sindh Assembly.
Wassan currently serves as the Sindh Minister of Prisons, Mines and Mineral Development.
Suhail Anwar Siyal
PPP lawmaker and Sindh Home Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal was appointed to the post in 2015.
Born in Faridabad village, some 15 kilometres from Larkana, 40-year-old Siyal had won the PS-35 by-polls on a PPP ticket in 2014 by defeating Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Shafqat Hussain Unnar.
Mr Siyal had received his primary and secondary education in Larkana, passed higher secondary school certificate exam from Hyderabad and did his graduation from Mehran University of Engineering and Technology, Jamshoro, in civil engineering, according to his cousin Advocate Shahid Iqbal.
The politician remained Bakrani Taluka PPP president for some time and contested the general election from PS-35 as an independent candidate in 2013 after he was refused a party ticket.
Siyal’s uncle, Ghulam Sarwar Siyal, had also served as a lawmaker in the provincial assembly in 2008.
He was a close relative of the late advocate Illahi Bakhsh Siyal, the then Dokri taluka PPP president, who was killed during the late 1980s by his rivals in Karmabagh Mohalla, Larkana.
He was so close to the PPP that Benazir Bhutto mentioned him in her book ‘Daughter of the East’, said Mr Iqbal.