Saturday March 25, 2023

MQM-P razing houses during anti-encroachment drive: Wahab

By Our Correspondent
December 03, 2018

Mayor Wasim Akhtar of the Muttahida Quami Movement-Pakistan is busy demolishing the houses of Karachiites in the ongoing anti-encroachment drive and the Pakistan Peoples Party will move court to get it to stop, claimed Information and Law Adviser Murtaza Wahab.

In a press statement issued on Sunday in response to a protest organised earlier in the day by the MQM-P against water shortage in the city, Wahab said, “We will plead the case of Karachi Wallas.”

Earlier on Saturday, the information had told reporters at a press briefing after a provincial cabinet meeting that the Sindh government would file a review petition in the Supreme Court to save residential settlements in the city from getting demolished as part of the ongoing anti-encroachment drive. He said the petition would be filed on the instructions of the chief minister as the provincial government didn’t want to make people homeless.

In Sunday’s press statement, Wahab said the MQM-P was under obligation to inform people about the fate of the Karachi Development Package – the uplift package the new federal government was supposed to announce once MQM-P joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf as a coalition partner. “The MQM-P did a compromise with PTI on the rights of the people of Karachi in the name of the Karachi package,” he said.

The adviser also alleged that the MQM-P had also compromised with the federal government on the issue of Karachi’s population being counted as less than it actually was during last year’s census for the sake of once again joining a coalition government.

The people of Karachi would not be fooled anymore through such political tactics as they now know the reality of MQM-P very well, Wahab said. The adviser claimed that the PPP was the only political force in the province that had challenged the results of the census drive conducted in Sindh in real terms. “The way the MQM-P struck a compromise on the issue of census results, it is no more in a position to face the people of Karachi.”

Wahab further said that the MQM-P had no valid basis to do agitation on water scarcity in the city as it was in fact the political party which should be blamed for the current situation of water shortage.

He said the MQM-P had virtually ruled the urban parts of the province for the past several years during the regime of the former military ruler Pervez Musharraf but it did nothing to resolve Karachi’s water problem. “People know well who patronised the water mafia in Karachi in the past and who sold the water meant for residents of the city.” he said.

According to Wahab, a “handful of people” took part in MQM-P’s protest earlier in the day showing that their chapter is closed now. “MQM-P should better be ashamed of itself instead of doing agitation on the water issue.”

The information adviser claimed that the ruling PPP was fully committed to resolving the water shortage of Karachi. A day earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presiding over a cabinet meeting said the Supreme Court order for removal of encroachments from the city is guidance for the government, therefore the operation would continue, but human settlements would be protected as much as possible.

The removal of encroachments from the city was taken up as a special agenda item for the cabinet meeting. The chief minister expressed his concern about those whose shops were bulldozed, and directed alternative arrangements to carry out their business activities.

Shah said that as far as possible, residential areas should be protected. At this Planning & Development Board Chairman Mohammad Waseem told the CM that the houses to be demolished for the establishment of KCR will be duly compensated. He added that the number of the affected people is estimated to be around 6,000 and they will be compensated.

The cabinet discussed the recommendations of the Sindh Minimum Wages Board for skilled, semi-skilled and highly-skilled employees in 41 different categories of industries. The board had recommended the wage of highly-skilled worker to now range from Rs21,083 to Rs22,569.