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April 29, 2019

Ghani mocks low attendance at MQM-P’s rally


April 29, 2019

Gone are the days when employees of the civic agencies of Karachi were forced to attend the public gatherings of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Sindh Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, who is also the president of the Karachi chapter of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), said this on Sunday while speaking at a news conference at the media cell of the PPP in reaction to the MQM-Pakistan’s public meeting on Saturday in which its leaders talked about a new province in Sindh.

The local government minister alleged that in the past, people of the city were forced to attend the public meetings of the MQM but it was not the situation anymore. “Now, no staffer of the KMC [Karachi Metropolitan Corporation], KDA [Karachi Development Authority], and other civic agencies is pressurised into attending the public meetings of the MQM. The public meeting of the MQM on Saturday was enough to expose it,” he said.

The MQM should have realised by a low attendance at its latest public meeting that it had lost the popular support, Ghani said. Continuing his censure on the MQM-Pakistan, the local government minister said although the party had distanced from its founder, it was still following his philosophy.

He also denied that the Sindh government had taken control of some department from the KMC. “All the four provinces have incorporated amendments in their respective local government systems so our case of doing changes in this system is not an exception,” he said.

Ghani said the political mandate of the PPP to rule Sindh should be duly recognised as the party had accepted the mandate of other parties in other provinces by accepting the results of the 2018 general elections in spite of rigging in polls and the denial of level playing field to his party.

To a question, the PPP Karachi president responded that the Sindh chief minister accompanied by his cabinet colleagues had held a meeting with the Sindh governor the other day in order to lower the tensions between the treasury and opposition benches during the current session of the Sindh Assembly.

To another question, he said 650 million gallons of additional water was daily required for the under-construction K-IV bulk water supply project. He added that the federal government had not yet committed this additional quota of water required for the K-IV project despite several letters sent in this regard by the Sindh government to the federal authorities.

The local government minister claimed that a strategy had been developed through which people of Karachi would not experience water shortage during the current year.

Responding to a question, Ghani said the Sindh chief minister lacked the authority to issue transfer orders even for a constable of the Sindh police while during the same time the neighbouring province of Punjab had witnessed the transfer of three inspectors general of the provincial police force.

“We want same set of powers for our chief minister being enjoyed by the CMs of the other provinces,” he said, adding that “we are answerable to the people who have elected us.”

Ghani was flanked by Sindh Adviser on Information and Law Barrister Murtaza Wahab who said Sindh had formed its own health care commission to ensure quality health care to the public and more legislation would be made for the provision of health services to the people of the province during the next session of the Sindh Assembly.

“Those who create a drama after giving the status of mother to Sindh sometimes use the Mohajir card like on other occasions they complain about lack of powers. They should answer how come they lack the power to construct a road when they do possess the authority to do China-cutting,” Wahab said, taking a jibe at the MQM-led KMC.

The PPP leaders also announced that the PPP would hold a massive public meeting at Dawood Chowrangi in Landhi on Labour Day on May 1, which would be addressed by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

They claimed that the upcoming public gathering of their party would be a massive show of its power as people in far greater number would attend it compared to the recent public meetings of the MQM-Pakistan and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf in Karachi.

KWSB meeting

A day earlier, Ghani directed the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) to hire over 300 workers on a contractual basis before the upcoming holy month of Ramazan in order to resolve the issue of overflowing sewage in the city.

The local govt minister chaired a meeting attended by senior officials and engineers of the KWSB. He directed the water board officials to make special arrangements to ensure uninterrupted water supply to people in all areas of Karachi during Ramazan.

He said the KWSB should make all its public complaint centres functional and at the same time, devise a strategy to ensure just distribution of water to the residents of Karachi.

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