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Governor’s powers as universities’ chancellor to be restored: Tessori

November 26, 2022

KARACHI: The Sindh government of the Pakistan People’s Party has agreed to restore the powers of the provincial governor to oversee the affairs of public sector universities in the province as their chancellor.

Sindh Governor, Muhammad Kamran Khan Tessori, disclosed this on Thursday while giving an exclusive interview to The News and Jang at the Governor House. Jang and the News panel included Syed Minhajur Rab, Sohail Afzal and Azeem Samar.

The governor was asked the question in the interview as to what he was going to do to restore the powers of the gubernatorial office that were available to his predecessors in the previous regimes given that he enjoys good terms with the ruling PPP and Sindh government.

Tessori said that the powers of the governor as the chancellor of the public sector universities are being restored as per the commitments made by the PPP when Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) had signed the accord before joining the coalition government in the centre. He said the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had also given the nod to restore the powers of the Sindh governor as the chancellor.

He said that similarly, the governor would get back his powers to oversee the affairs of the Citizen Police Liaison Committee.

He told The News/Jang panel that MQM would very shortly get the posts of Karachi’s administrator and administrators of three district municipal corporations in Korangi, Central, and East districts in Karachi in line with its accord earlier signed with the PPP.

Tessori, however, made it clear that MQM would get the offices of Karachi and DMC administrators only if the local government elections in the provincial capital were deferred any further.

When asked about his stance on the issue of local government polls in Karachi, the governor said that he was of the view that local government elections should be held in the city at the earliest.

He, however, said that issues concerning the empowerment of the municipal agencies of the urban areas, delimitation of the constituencies, and maintenance of security should first be resolved before holding the local government polls in Karachi.

He recalled that he was one of the signatories of the MQM’s petition on which the Supreme Court had ordered the government to empower the municipal agencies as per Article 140-A of the Constitution.

Tessori disclosed that very soon an initiative would be launched in partnership with leading non-profits in the country to launch Information Technology training courses at the Governor House that have ample space for the such educational activity.

He said that a dedicated cell for receiving complaints from the concerned public on civic issues would soon start working at the Governor House having the contact number “1366”.

He said that up to 12 operators would be sitting in the complaint cell to promptly attend calls from the aggrieved public and register their complaints.

Tessori disclosed on the occasion that very soon he would himself start sitting in the new complaint cell and attend to the phone calls from the public for half an hour every day in the morning.

He also revealed that on December 4 this year for the first time the Sindh Governor House was going to host an activity to celebrate the occasion of Sindhi Topi and Ajrak Day.

He said that since the time he had assumed the office of governor he had been continuously meeting different political stakeholders and Ulema belonging to different schools of thought to end the environment of animosity and tension on political and sectarian lines.

Answering a question as to what issues are his priorities as the new governor, Tessori said that improvement of the government-run schools, colleges, and health facilities was at top of his agenda.

“It is pitiful that after the passage of so many years there is only one prestigious grammar school and only one elite private hospital in Karachi as whoever has financial resources in the city goes to only these two institutions for getting education and treatment for himself and his family. Instead, the situation should have been that there should be many more hospitals and schools in Karachi like these two facilities,” he said.

He informed The News/Jang panel that when he met former president Asif Ali Zardari the only request he had made to him was getting urgent help from the Sindh government for the much-needed uplift of Abbasi Shaheed Hospital in Karachi which is in very bad shape.

Tessori said that he was hopeful that resources required from the Sindh government would soon be available and that the first phase of the rehabilitation of Abbasi Shaheed Hospital would be completed in a few months.

Similarly, he said, he had met Karachi’s Administrator, Sindh Local Government Minister, Chief Secretary, city’s Metropolitan Commissioner, and other relevant officials several times in order to seek their urgent help for reviving playgrounds in Karachi for youth.

He disclosed that he had met so far representatives of 28 different associations of traders in order to enlist their help to refurbish the buildings of different markets in the city as per his vision to beautify Karachi.

Similarly, the buildings, which are seen when one exits Karachi Airport and comes on the main Sharea Faisal would also be refurbished so that whoever visited the city for the first time gets a good impression of the provincial capital.

He said that transforming Karachi into a clean and green city was also part of his vision as he had started making efforts to dispose of garbage from the city on a war footing.

“I think I’m going to achieve all these targets that are part of my vision because of my very good relations with the Sindh government and private sector, both of which are now onboard with me while making efforts in this regard,” he said.

To a question whether there was any internal rift in MQM when he was made the Governor, Tessori said that after a very long time a record 40 members of the Coordination Committee of MQM had gathered at the Governor House and reposed full confidence in him and assured the fullest support in his efforts for the province.

“I also have the unique honour that the notification of my appointment was issued on the sacred day of 12 Rabi ul Awwal,” Tessori concluded.