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October 25, 2019

Sindh govt planning to privatise KWSB, alleges Kamal


October 25, 2019

The Sindh government is planning to privatise the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB), which will not be good for the people as any agency like the KWSB responsible for the provision of the basic needs should not be run on a commercial basis.

Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) Chairperson Syed Mustafa Kamal said this as he addressed a news conference at the Pakistan Secretariat on Thursday.

The outcome of K-Electric’s privatisation was in front of everyone, he said, adding that inflated billing and dozens of casualties as a result of electrocution after rains were results of the privatisation of the power utility.

Commenting on the menace of stray dogs in the city, he said the Sindh government had resorted to corrupt practices even in buying poison for culling dogs.

Kamal alleged that the poison that the authorities had been mixing in Halwa [sweet] for the stray dogs to devour was not producing any effect as the dogs were loitering on the roads and streets after consuming the Halwa.

“It is the job of municipalities of the city to buy poison for dog culling,” he said, accusing the Sindh government of corruption in the purchase of poison.

All the three tiers of government, he said, had failed to lift garbage from the city. He explained that earlier, the local government failed to address the issue of garbage, after which the federal government stepped in and initiated its cleanliness drive that did not produce desired results, following which the provincial government announced its own cleanliness drive that spanned one month but the city was not cleaned.

Kamal was of the view that the people of Karachi had forgotten the issue of garbage as a greater threat of rabies had emerged due to uncontrolled stray dogs.

He claimed that political parties that had emerged victorious in the general elections had started to disintegrate just one year after the polls due to their incompetence but the PSP, despite losing the polls, had emerged as one of the strongest political forces of Pakistan.

He deplored the fact that people were falling prey to the unabated incidents of electrocution, rabies, garbage-borne diseases, dengue and AIDS and no tier of the government was paying any heed to the sufferings of the poor.

PSP President Anis Kaimkhani and members of the party’s national council and central executive committee were present during the news conference, in which Mir Shams Mengal, a political figure from Balochistan, also joined the PSP along with hundreds of his supporters after ending his year-long association with the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP).

Kamal said the PSP had fielded its candidates across 60 per cent areas of Balochistan in the 2018 general elections, due to which the party's organisational set-up had stretched to every district of the province. Commenting on the health of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the PSP chairperson said Nawaz had served the country as its PM thrice and should be provided all necessary medical treatment.

For the march of opposition political parties towards Islamabad, he said the country was at the crossroads and could not afford any sort of unrest. He, however, added that the culture of sit-ins and protests was set by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf which was now in power.

Kamal recalled many unfulfilled promises of Prime Minister Imran Khan that he had made to the people of Karachi. He said the PM, during his first visit to Karachi after becoming the premier, had assured that Karachi’s problems would be solved and Computerised National Identity Cards would be issued to Bengalis and Afghanis. How many Bengalis or Afghanis have been given nationality so far, the PSP chairperson asked.

He said Khan had once remarked that Karachi did not have a master plan as no one had told him that Kamal had made a master plan for the city in 2007. The PM, he said, did not even talk to Sindh’s chief minister. If the PM and the CM would not talk, no matter how much construction packages are given to the port city, nothing would materialise, Kamal remarked.

Regarding the K-IV bulk water supply project, Kamal said billions of rupees had been lavishly spent on it only to gain no result.

He remarked that corruption had attained unprecedented heights during the first year of the Sindh government and all the segments of society, including business communities, bureaucrats and journalists, were worried due to inflation and unemployment.

Commenting on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) politics, Kamal said the party still had same demands which it had thirty years ago. “Take out any newspaper of 1989, you will find three demands [of the MQM],” he said and pointed out that over the years, the constant demands of the MQM-P had been permission for opening the party’s offices, recovery of missing persons, and provision of funds. “The city’s infrastructure is devastating, but the MQM is busy in its politics,” he said.