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October 22, 2019

Sindh suffered due to corruption: PM

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October 22, 2019

KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the economic situation of Sindh deteriorated due to corruption and it was the duty of the provincial government to resolve the problems of Karachi.

The prime minister made these remarks during a meeting with members of the Sindh Assembly belonging to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf here at the Governor House on Monday. Imran said the federal government despite its resource constraints had been sharing responsibility to resolve the issues of Karachi. The prime minister said Karachi is the country's economic hub and the federal government is fully cognizant of the water, transportation, waste management and other problems being faced by people of the city. Unfortunately, the problems of Karachi were ignored in the past, said the prime minister.

Imran said his government had inherited the worst economic deficit but now the conditions have improved. He directed the federal ministers to enhance their contacts with PTI legislators from Karachi.

The Federal Planning and Development Minister Khusro Bakhtiar told the PTI legislators that the Centre would soon initiate Rs 440 billion development projects in Karachi with the support of global financial institutions. The Sindh Governor, Imran Ismail, assured that the K-IV bulk water supplyproject would also be completed.

The Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Azam Khan Swati, Planning and Development Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Maritime Minister Ali Zaidi, Water Resources Minister Faisal Wavda, Special Assistant to PM Nadeem Babar, and MNA Asad Umar also attended the meeting. The prime minister also met the delegations of allied parties in Sindh, including MQM and GDA, during his brief visit to the city at the Governor House.

Later, while chairing a meeting of Sindh Infrastructure Development Company Ltd here at the Governor House, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the people of Sindh were deprived of clean drinking water, health, and education due to corruption. During the meeting, Imran Khan was briefed about the status of the federally funded development projects undertaken in the city as part of the Centre’s Karachi Package. Imran directed speeding up work on them. He said, “We have taken up the tasks, which were basically the obligations of the Sindh government.”

A delegation of the Muttahida Quami Movement Pakistan met the prime minister at the Governor House. The MQM demanded reopening of the party offices in the city, release of their party activists and withdrawal of cases against them. The MQM leaders also conveyed their reservations to the prime minister over the controversial statement of Federal Science & Technology Minister Fawad Chauhdry regarding the electoral future of Muttahida. They also reviewed the progress on the MQM and PTI accord.

The Mayor Karachi, Waseem Akhtar, demanded devolution of powers to the local governments in the province in accordance with the Article 140 of the Constitution. He demanded the federal government to announce separate development packages for Karachi and Hyderabad.

Talking to newsmen after their meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said they asked the prime minister to inaugurate the federally funded public sector university in Hyderabad. “We also highlighted slow progress towards resolving the issues of urban Sindh.” Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said they requested the prime minister to directly fund the provincial local governments. He said expecting anything positive from the PPP government is mere wastage of time. He said the MQM has regained its full strength and there is no threat to the party. He said the MQM would bag more votes in the next election than the 2018 polls. The MQM delegation comprised MQM leaders Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Kanwar Naveed Jameel, Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar, Faisal Sabzwari, and Khawaja Izharul Hassan.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Grand Democratic Alliance also met Imran Khan at the Governor House and briefed him about issues in their respective areas and constituencies in Sindh. They demanded extending the Sehat Insaf Card and Ehsaas programme to Sindh.

Meanwhile, Federal Planning and Development Minister Khusro Bakhtiar told the media that the federal government would soon initiate Rs 440 billion development projects in Karachi with the support of global financial institutions. He said Rs 25 billion had been released for completing Karachi's Green Line section of Bus Rapid Transit Service. He said Rs 11 billion have been released for procurement of buses for Green Line project in the city. The minister said the federal government would also support the construction of Yellow Line section of BRTS in Karachi. The minister said a Rs 78 billion Asian Development Bank grant would also be secured for Karachi's Yellow Line and Red Line bus projects.

Speaking on the occasion, the Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said the Sindh government cooperation would be sought for completing the federally funded development projects in Karachi. To a question that the prime minister and the chief minister do not hold any formal and informal meetings over issues of provincial concern, the governor said the chief minister is the chief executive of the province who could call on the prime minister anytime. The Sindh Government spokesman, Murtaza Wahab, had raised the issue that the prime minster does not meet the chief minister as the former does not want to address the issues faced by the province.

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