The Dubai meeting of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leadership has decided to show octogenarian Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah the door. The 'surprise' decision could have been anticipated since in recent days the air was full of speculation that a change was coming. Of Qaim's three terms in office, the second one, 2008-13 was the only full one. In the current term, his ministry was beset with a whole series of new problems to add to the perception of ineffective governance that dogged his footsteps in earlier stints. Amongst these new problems, the Rangers operation against terrorists and criminals in Karachi perhaps proved the reef on which Qaim's ship finally foundered. The issue of the extension of the Rangers' mandate reared its head again and again, complicated further by the recent incident in Larkana in which Home Minister Anwar Siyal got implicated as a result of his brother Sikandar Siyal's attempt to come to the rescue of Asad Kharal, arrested by the Rangers on corruption charges. This highlighted the desire of the military-backed Rangers to have their mandate extended not only in Karachi but further to all of Sindh. The perception is that Asif Ali Zardari, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and the senior leadership of the PPP were dissatisfied with Qaim Ali Shah's handling of the Rangers issue, in which they found him too 'soft' and pliable. However, just as Qaim could not defy the will of the security establishment without risking the Sindh government per se, it remains a moot point whether his successor will be able to do any better. Given Karachi's importance as the industrial, commercial and financial hub of the country and the decades old unrest, terrorism and crime that held the city hostage, the establishment's impatience with ineffective civilian governments fed into the pressures applied and visible, especially since 2013, on the Sindh government. In this obtaining scenario, it is unlikely his successor will not face the same scenario. In addition, there has been a widespread perception that Qaim was largely a 'showpiece' chief minister, and that the province was actually being run in all important respects by multiple power centres, all roads from which eventually led to Asif Ali Zardari abroad. If Qaim Ali Shah was squeezed between the rock of the establishment and the hard place of multiple power centres dictating affairs in Sindh and answering only to Asif Zardari, what is the guarantee that his successor will not face the same fate?