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MQM-P slams Sindh govt for ‘artificial water crisis’ in Karachi


July 2, 2019

A large number of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) activists held a protest demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club on Monday evening against what they called “an artificial water crisis” in the city allegedly created by the Pakistan People’s Party-led Sindh government.

Waving tri-coloured MQM flags, the protesters held empty clay pots and banners inscribed with demands and slogans such as ‘let Karachi live’, ‘complete K4 Project’, ‘close all illegal hydrants in the city”, and ‘stop patronising the tanker mafia’. They said the Sindh government had failed to provide water to Pakistan’s biggest city.

The MQM-P leaders and parliamentarians, who spoke at the rally, described the PPP’s provincial government as anti-people for its failure to address the issues and alleged that the ruling party in the province had been creating an “artificial water crisis”.

Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, the convener of the MQM-P’s coordinate committee, said that Karachi was the largest and most populous metropolitan city in Pakistan and 7th largest urban agglomeration across the world, and even the country‘s bogus census statistics show that.

“This city is paying 70 percent revenue to the federal government and 92 percent revenue to the Sindh government after earning it, but despite all of it, we are begging for water today.” Siddiqui, who is also a federal minister, said that the water crisis in the city had turned grave as people were facing agony and physical torture for want of water.

He pointed out that the proposed K-IV water project had been in the doldrums since long and alleged that the government was not serious in completing the project to provide drinking water to the provincial capital.

Mayor Wasim Akhtar said that residents in every street of the city’s six districts had been protesting on a daily basis against water shortages. “For the past 10 years, the PPP has been ruling over Sindh but is not able to run a single bus in the entire province.”

He said he had no hopes that the Sindh government and the PPP would resolve the issues of Karachi and therefore he requested the president and the prime minister to play their role in addressing the issues. He said that if the provincial government could not provide water to the city then they should stop collecting taxes from the residents.

Announcing a sit-in outside the KMC on MA Jinnah Road, Akhtar said that the elected local government representatives would participate in the protest against the water shortage in the city, adding that Karachi’s water was being stolen to generate billions of rupees.

Khwaja Izharul Hasan, the MQM-P’s key leader, said that the protest was part of the party’s continuous effort to draw the attention of the government towards the water crisis, but the government had exhibited its criminal silence. “When the MQM-P protests over genuine problems faced by the residents of Karachi, small tonga parties came out to support by playing the role of the PPP’s B-team,” he added.

He criticised Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, who is also the supervisor of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, for failing to provide any relief to the citizens, and demanded from the director general of the Sindh Rangers and the corps commander for Karachi to intervene to resolve the water shortage issue.

The MQM-P’s deputy conveners, Kunwar Naveed Jamil and Nasreen Jalil, Deputy Mayor Arshad Hasan, and coordination committee members, Muhammad Hussain and Arif Khan Advocate, also spoke at the rally. A massive traffic jam was being witnessed on main roads around the Karachi Press Club due to the protest.