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Karachi

April 7, 2017

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PSP announces indefinite protest to empower city’s municipal councils

In an unforeseen move, the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) on Thursday kicked off an indefinite protest outside the Karachi Press Club against the Sindh government for keeping the city ‘deprived of its due rights’.

“This protest is unique in the sense that it would either end with our lives, or our demands will be met,” PSP chairperson Mustafa Kamal observed at a presser held at the Karachi Press Club.

Kamal being considered to have taken one step ahead of Dr Farooq Sattar – chief of PSP’s archrival, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) –asserted that nobody could detract them from their agenda for Karachi. “The city which generates 70 percent of the country’s revenue gets nothing in return!” the PSP chief added.

“There is no Rehman Malik that could make us surrender before our demands are met. We are not the party that announces parting ways with the government but rejoin it at the next visit of VIP people to the Nine Zero - former headquarter of MQM,” the party leader observed while overtly referring to PSP’s archrival, the MQM.

Kamal’s presser seemed to be a continuation of Dr Farooq Sattar’s, opined a senior journalist. “Except that the PSP has been given the task to protest peacefully for getting back Karachi’s right from the provincial government,” the journalist added.

Unveiling the party’s demands, Kamal acknowledged that all of them required to be properly legislated upon following lengthy discussions in the assembly, but called for the government to show that his demands were heeded.

The PSP had on January 29 given the government a 15-day ultimatum while addressing the party’s first ever public rally in Karachi. He had warned of leading the masses to the streets if the demands weren’t met.

Focusing on issues ranging from transportation, health and education, the PSP chief called for all civic departments to be given back their rights by the city government.

In his 14-point charter of demand presented to the government, Kamal asked the government to immediately start work on K-IV’s two projects without any delay adding that he would ask the federal government to release 50% of its share into this project.

Coming to the contract awarded to a Chinese firm to collect garbage, the PSP chief stated that no amount of contracts could help the Sindh government unless it builds at least five garbage collection points in each district of the city.

“It is ironic that the Sindh government constituted a solid waste management authority and the charge of it was given to the Chief Minister.

Thirdly, he said that the Karachi Building control Authority has been changed to Sindh Building control Authority and the master plan department has also been devolved.

The PSP chief further stated that only the city’s mayor could be made the chairman of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board.

Six corridors as well as handing over the Mass Transit System to the city government were suggested by Kamal as measures to tackle the city’s traffic problem.

He also demanded forming a provincial finance award as per the formula of National Finance Award and resources should be distributed to the city/districts on the pattern of the NFC. The works and service department was also urged to be given under the city government’s control.

“It is strange that in the entire world parks and other recreational projects are carried out by the city government but in Sindh, only the provincial government has authority over these departments,” Kamal furiously added.

The Karachi Development Authority was another such department he observed should be under the district government’s control.

Further speaking on land grabbing, the former mayor stated that the offence should be a non-bailable one and the person found indulged in the practice be given at least five years as punishment.

Lastly, Kamal called for a special package to be announced for Hyderabad since the city is in shambles.

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