KARACH: The three major political stakeholders of Karachi — the ruling PTI, PPP, and the MQM-P — met on Saturday to discuss the issues the city faces in two separate meetings held here and in Islamabad, Geo News reported.
Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, as well as provincial ministers Saeed Ghani and Nasir Shah, represented the government of Sindh. Governor Imran Ismail, federal ministers Asad Umar and Ali Haider Zaidi, as well as Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar were in attendance as well.
Sources informed Geo News that it was decided in the meetings to form advisory and liaison committees to solve the metropolis’ problems.
Discussions revolved around the NDMA’s role in the development of Karachi. It was decided that members of the Centre and government of Sindh would form an advisory committee to resolve the southern port city’s issues.
In a video statement following the meeting, Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah confirmed that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairperson Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal was in the meeting as well.
He said the meeting, which was held for the betterment of the province, focused on resolving issues related to development work.
The Sindh government is working for the betterment of Karachi and the entire province, the information minister added.
Anyone wanting to help develop Karachi ‘welcome’
Shah welcomed the meeting between the PTI, PPP, and the MQM-P as a step in the right direction for the betterment of Karachiites. The collaboration between the three parties “will prove to be an important milestone”, he said.
He added that Sindh — especially Karachi — was developed tremendously under the leadership of PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari. “The Sindh government will welcome every person or political party that wants to play a part in developing Karachi,” he said.
Referring to the recent monsoon spell that wreaked havoc in the metropolis, the provincial minister said the government of Sindh had welcomed the Centre and the NDMA in its efforts to clear Karachi’s nullahs.
“Steps taken by the Sindh chief minister for Karachi cannot be forgotten,” he added.
Locals should be given ‘full authority’
Following the meeting, MQM-P’s Aamir Khan said Karachi’s problems could not be resolved without giving full authority to its locals.
“The problem of Karachi cannot be solved until the local people have full authority,” he said on Twitter.
“This will only be possible when new provinces are established across the country including Karachi,” Khan added.
Karachi ‘a part of Sindh and will remain so’
PPP leader Raza Rabbani said Sunday Karachi was a part of Sindh and would continue to remain so. The PTI had previously issued a statement as well on separating the city from the province, he noted.
Speaking at a press conference after the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting, the former Senate chairperson said such statements from the PTI leadership were not new.
“Ever since the PPP government has been formed [in Sindh] and the PTI came to power, such statements have been issued,” he said, adding that the PTI has previously issued statements as well on imposing governor rule in Sindh. “There is nothing new about this,” he stressed.
Without naming anyone in particular, Rabbani underlined how “some people want to place Karachi under the Centre and seize its revenue”.
Criticising NAB, the PPP leader said the Supreme Court’s (SC) judgment in the Khawaja brothers’ case had exposed the anti-graft body. The Human Rights Watch (HRW) had also exposed the NAB, he noted.
Clarifying that the party had not changed its stance on the 18th Amendment, Rabbani said the party would “not compromise” on it.
SC says Sindh govt ‘completely failed’
The meeting between the three political parties to resolve Karachi’s issues came after the Supreme Court of Pakistan lashed out at the Sindh government for lack of cleanliness in Karachi, stating in its remarks that the provincial authorities had “completely failed”.
A hearing into the nullahs encroachment case was held Tuesday at the Karachi registry of the apex court. where the chief justice said that the Sindh government had “turned entire Karachi into a goth”.
“The entire city is filled with filth and sewerage water,” said the chief justice angrily. “Mosquitoes, flies, and germs are everywhere. People are walking on stones [to cross sewerage water],” he added.
Sindh turning into province of ‘total anarchy’
“Rulers are the only ones who are enjoying themselves,” the chief justice had said angrily. “This is turning into a province of total anarchy.”
“Who will rectify the province? Do we ask the federal government to rectify the province,” Justice Gulzar asked. “Who will provide the people with their basic rights?”
Justice Faisal Arab had lamented that people have to move the court to avail basic facilities such as water and power. “I belong to this province as well but look at the situation here,” he had said.