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Web Desk
August 14, 2020

Sindh CM reacts strongly to reports of Centre mulling ‘options’ on Karachi

Web Desk
Fri, Aug 14, 2020
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. — Geo News/Files

DADU: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday reacted strongly to reports that the federal government is mulling ‘constitutional options’ to fix the worsening situation in Karachi.

The chief minister said that there is not a single provision in the Constitution to carve out Karachi from the rest of Sindh and bring it under the federal government rule.

“If anybody has developed such an idea in his mind he should take it out, otherwise people of Sindh are strong enough to thwart such an attempt,” he said in an apparent warning.

Accompanied by Minister Irrigation Sohail Anwar Siyal, Minister Rehabilitation Faraz Dero, MNA Rafiq Jamali, MPAs Pir Mujeeb, Shajila Leghari and others, the chief minister made the statement today in Dadu’s Johi area.

Responding to a question, Murad Ali Shah brushed aside the notion that the federal government rule would be imposed in Karachi to control it directly from Islamabad.

“Karachi is not the teacup of PTI government in the Center,” he said, adding that people of Sindh have given the mandate to the Pakistan Peoples Party to rule the province and its people were strong enough to thwart such a move.

Shah said that there was not any provision in the constitution of Pakistan under which the Centre would carve out the provincial capital [Karachi] from the rest of the Sindh and impose a federal rule there.

“This is a wishful thinking of some politically and constitutionally empty-minded people and it would never take place,” he said.

'Sindh govt may not have properly informed SC about steps taken for Karachi'

Earlier today, Shah said that his government may have failed in "properly" informing the Supreme Court about the actions taken by the provincial government in Karachi.

“In 2009, 125mm rain was recorded [in Karachi] and Shahrah-e-Faisal was inundated for three days. This year, water did not remain [on the road] for even four hours,” said CM Murad while talking to media at the Mazar-e-Quaid in Karachi.

Speaking about the cleaning of Karachi’s nullahs, the chief minister said that his government was conducting a survey of 38 nullahs of the city and cleaning them as well.

"The problems will solve once the nullas are cleaned," he said.

The statement by the CM Murad comes a day after the apex court turned down his government's plea to allow it to clean Karachi's nullahs instead of the National Disaster Management Authority.

SC rejects request to reassign charge of drain cleaning

The Supreme Court had turned down a petition to reassign the responsibility for cleaning Karachi’s drainage system to the Sindh government from the National Disaster Management Authority on Thursday, which it had assigned in the last hearing.

The apex court, under Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, decided after resuming the hearing of the case regarding Karachi's rain-related problems and unscheduled loadshedding.

During the hearing, the Sindh government presented a report related to its performance in the recent monsoon season and the measures it took to mitigate the problems caused by heavy rains.

“You [the Sindh government] show us pictures after cleaning up two nullahs and claim that [all of] Karachi has been cleaned up now,” the top judge had remarked on the performance report.

CJP Ahmed inquired that if the drains were being cleaned up as was claimed then why did water inundate the city during the rains.

“If the Sindh government was cleaning the drains then why did the NDMA have to step in?” the judge asked the provincial authorities in the court.

The advocate general had responded by saying it is not clear why the NDMA was sent to the city, claiming that 50% work was already done on the Gujjar nullah and 20-25% on the other major drains when the authority took charge.

The provincial government then sought time till August 30 for cleaning up the drainage system of the city.

To this, Justice Ijaz-ul-Hasan reminded the officials that the NDMA was already cleaning up the drains. He urged the Sindh government to help alleviate the problems of the residents of the metropolis.