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Shibli says PM Imran to announce ‘major plan’ for Karachi on Friday

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz addressing a press conference in Islamabad, on September 1, 2020. — YouTube

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will unveil details of a “major plan” for Karachi on Friday during his visit to the metropolis, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said  Tuesday.

The announcement of a major plan for Karachi comes after torrential rainfalls lashed lower Sindh, devastating Karachi’s infrastructure, causing prolonged power outages, disrupting communication, and leading to the deaths of at least 100 people in the province.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the minister said that the project — funded by the Centre, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), and the Sindh government — would address several issues of the city.

“There are several problems in Karachi, including sewerage, provision of water, solid waste management, and transport,” Faraz noted.

The federal government has developed this comprehensive plan to address Karachi’s dismal civic issues, Faraz said, adding that it could not be done without the cooperation of the Sindh government.

Speaking of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the information minister said that now even the court has instructed the PML-N supremo to return at any cost.

“If a three-time prime minister considers himself above the law, then the people really need to think [about who they elect],” he said.

Talking about the Financial Action Task Force’s legislation, he said that the opposition should decide whether it wants to stand with Pakistan or India.

“India is our external enemy and spares no chances to bring us harm […] we won’t let India succeed in its plans pertaining to FATF.”

‘Promises not fulfilled’

Responding to the information minister’s remarks on the plan for Karachi, Sindh government spokesperson Senator Murtaza Wahab said that he believes it is just another “promise that will not be fulfilled”.

“In terms of revenue, Karachi is accorded importance as the Centre’s 70% revenue comes from the city. But when its infrastructure needs [attention], the federal government shows no interest,” Wahab said in a video message.

The senator said that people come to Karachi, make “big promises”, but never fulfil them.

Reminding the prime minister of his promise to invest Rs162 billion in Karachi, Wahab questioned where those funds had gone.

“The Centre has not invested a penny in Karachi,” Wahab said.

He said that even after two years, the federal government is saying it is “bringing a plan into action”. “Even today, they think all they have to do is make big statements rather than work.”

‘PM Imran has devised a plan for Karachi’

Earlier, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail had said that to mitigate the infrastructural and urban flooding issues in Karachi, PM Imran had devised a plan which will be shared with all the major stakeholders on his visit to the city.

The governor, held a press conference in Karachi to address the pressing issues of the country, particularly the woes of the financial capital of Pakistan.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan finalised a plan for Karachi in yesterday’s meeting,” said the Sindh governor.

The Sindh governor said that whatever the federal government is doing is based on the divisions outlined by the National Finance Commission Award to provinces.

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