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Hamida to lobby for 'curtailed powers'

KARACHI, July 10: Provincial minister for college education Dr Hamida Khuhro, who is expected to return to the country in the early hours of Tuesday, is likely to meet senior members of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League in Islamabad to discuss the recent curtailment of her authority by Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim.

Sources, however, ruled out the possibility of the reversal of the decision notified by the chief minister in June.

A top official in the Sindh education ministry said the department had formally been bifurcated into general education and college education while a department for special education was already running separately.

"The provincial government has formally notified that the education department has been divided into two sections and all the formalities for the separation have been made," he said.

The sources said Dr Khuhro would be responsible for the affairs of 238 colleges in Sindh, while around 42,500 primary, secondary and higher secondary schools, bureau of curriculum and other related organisations would be working under the chief minister.

They said the chief minister would look after the affairs of general education as there was no chance of a cabinet expansion given the fact that the existing assemblies were nearing the end of their five-year term.

They said Dr Khuhro might actually continue as minister for college education till the end of the government's term as the party's senior leadership was already tied with more than one conflict in the country and would not like to be involved in 'minor controversies' at this stage.

They said the chief minister had got a go-ahead from Islamabad before clipping Dr Khuhro's wings.

Dr Khuhro had joined the cabinet on July 12, 2004 in the third phase of the cabinet expansion.

The sources said the chief minister had never enjoyed cordial terms with his colleague and lost no opportunity to criticise her department. Dawn
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