CM Sindh withdraws Edu Minister's powers

KARACHI, June 29(Daily Times): The powers of Sindh Education Minister Dr Hamida Khuhro were curtailed Thursday with Chief Minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim assuming most of the charge of the Education Ministry.

This was decided at a hurriedly called meeting at CM House late Thursday night. The minister of education will now only deal with College Education in the province.

This has transpired at a time when Khuhro is not in Pakistan; she and her brother Masood Khuhro left for the US on Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. Sources said that the meeting at CM House was called Thursday 1:00 a.m. Dr Khuhro was apparently informed of the decision when she reached Dubai in transit.

"Madam reacted by saying that it had been accepted for a long time that the education department would be bifurcated," said Sindh Education Department Public Relations Officer Akhtar Surahio. "The department should be divided into three parts." Surahio added that now the powers of the primary, secondary and high school education, technical education, the Sindh Text Book Board and the Sindhi Adabi Board would lie with the chief minister and Dr Khuhro would tackle college education only.

The Sindh government has yet to issue a notification on this change. "I don't know about it," declared Education Secretary Sabhago Khan Jatoi Thursday. "We didn't receive any such notification. We have read about it in the newspaper and it can be a bifurcation of the education department."

CM House Press Information Officer Tariq Imam said that no notification had been issued but a press statement had been dispatched from CM House late Thursday night.

According to the brief press handout: "Sindh CM Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim has decided to [make] immediate changes in the Education department. According to this change, now Dr Hamida Khuhro will only enjoy the power of college education." It added that the remaining sections would be under the CM's authority.

Dr Khuhro's personal secretary Qadir Bux Bhatti Advocate declined to make any comment but said that they were trying to contact her following which they would be able to comment on the matter.

Sources said that Dr Khuhro, who is central vice president of the PML-Q, developed serious differences with the chief minister. She apparently had reservations on the May 12 violence in Karachi and had objected to it at a meeting of the party's central committee in Islamabad last month.

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