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August 13, 2018

Incoming governor vows to work with city mayor


August 13, 2018

Sindh governor-in-waiting, Imran Ismail, has said that he would work with Mayor Wasim Akhtar for the sake of Karachi’s development and progress.

Ismail, who has been nominated by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as Sindh governor, expressed these views on Sunday while talking to reporters at the Karachi airport upon his arrival to the city a day after being nominated.

A large number of PTI activists and local leaders welcomed Ismail at the airport. The incoming governor gave a statement in favour of the Karachi mayor, who belongs to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, as MQM will be a coalition partner in the PTI-led federal government.

Ismail further told reporters that a third-party audit would be conducted of every development project being built in the city, likely referring to projects initiated by the former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led federal government.

Karachi has been lagging behind in terms of development and progress in the last ten years, said Ismail, adding that the prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan had the earnest desire to resolve the city’s problems.

“We will make every effort to ensure that the Peoples Party (the ruling party in Sindh) supports us in implementing development schemes,” Ismail said. According to the incoming governor, the cause of development could never be achieved without overcoming the menace of corruption. “We will bring about real change as we will implement the programme of Imran Khan,” he said.

He vowed that efforts would be made to cut down on the government’s expenses. News Desk adds: Ismail further said that he would “set a trend” by not residing in the Governor House, and would use the space only as an office.

Responding to a question, he said the Governor House could not be bulldozed altogether in view of the building’s status as a protected heritage site. “We will open Governor House for the public, but we have to see how it can be utilised,” said Ismail. “It can be used as an educational institute, university or art gallery.”

He vowed to minimise the expenditures of Governor House as much as possible. “I will not be staying at one place but rather travelling across Sindh.” Ismail also remarked that PTI proved to be the biggest opposition party in Sindh, adding that the opposition leader in the Sindh Assembly will be from PTI.

PTI-MQM alliance

To surprise of many political analysts, the leaders of PTI and MQM-P had signed a nine-point MoU earlier this month for the formation of a coalition government in the Centre.

The two parties had earlier publicly been at odds with each other. However, in the post-election scenario, the two sides reached an agreement following a meeting at the residence of PTI Chairman Imran Khan. The MoU carries signatures of MQM-P’s Faisal Sabzwari and PTI leader Arif Alvi.

MQM has stated several times that highlighting Karachi’s issues has been the main objective behind its decision to join the PTI’s coalition government. The MoU says that the resolution passed by the National Assembly regarding the Karachi census and as decided in the Council of Common Interests (CCI) should be implemented immediately.

Moreover, it adds that in line with the PTI and MQM manifesto, the local government system in Sindh and Punjab does not conform to the constitutional requirements under Section 140 A. The PTI will support the petition of the MQM-P, which is before the Supreme Court of Pakistan in this regard. Similarly, Karachi operation shall be reviewed in totality and in consultation with all the stakeholders.

The MoU adds that urban centres of Sindh, including Karachi, have been severely neglected in the past. A direct financial package will be announced immediately that shall be disbursed by the federal government, with special emphasis on water.

Both parties shall strive to introduce police reforms as implemented by PTI in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and promised by MQM-P in its manifesto, so that police is de-politicised and recruited with merit in letter and spirit according to law that envisages local recruitment.

As per the MoU, a university of international level and repute shall be established in Hyderabad. It has also been agreed that in line with the statement given by the PTI chairman, election audit will take place on the constituencies pointed out by MQM-P.

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