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September 25, 2017

Sattar rejects govt claims of supporting mayor


September 25, 2017

The ongoing war of words between the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) provincial government and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan (MQM-P) continued on Sunday as Dr Farooq Sattar rejected the Sindh local government (LG) minister’s recent claims of providing support and resources to the Karachi mayor and other local LG representatives.

Speaking to newsmen during an inspection tour of District Central along with Mayor Waseem Akhtar, MPA Mehfooz Yar Khan and DMC Central Chairman Rehan Hashmi, the MQM-P chief said all LG representatives including the mayor, deputy mayor and district chairmen of Karachi have been striving for the public’s welfare without any support from the Sindh government.

“Knowing the government’s intentions, we had advised all elected local government representatives to do whatever they can within the limited resources provided. Our priorities have been sanitation, water supply, uplift of drainage systems and maintenance of road infrastructure,” he said.

“The main force that has enabled LG officials to push through such hard times is the cooperation and support of the people.” The MQM-P chief used the media talk to clarify his party’s stance on reports regarding imminent change of personnel in the local government hierarchy. “The media should not entertain such baseless news. There is no truth to reports that the mayor, deputy mayor or district chairmen are going to be removed from their posts,” Sattar stated.  “We have a mechanism in place for performance reviews. This is done after every six to 12 months and happens to be in process at the moment.” 

Ice melting?

While such exchanges of grievances continue between the MQM-P and PPP, The News has learnt that a possible rapprochement among the two parties could well be on the cards.

As per local government officials familiar with the development, the one-to-one meeting between Mayor Akhtar and CM Murad Ali Shah two days ago served as an icebreaker. The meeting apparently saw the mayor inviting Shah to address a session of the City Council in the near future, a request that the chief minister has accepted but would be formalised soon.

The officials said the mayor would send an official invitation to the CM by next week and it is likely that Shah would address a City Council session after Ashura.

Mayor Akhtar also spoke along these lines during Sunday’s tour of District Central with Sattar and others as he stated, “We want to work together with the Sindh government to resolve Karachi’s problems and it is incumbent on the chief minister to reciprocate our efforts.” 

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