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March 10, 2020

Murtaza Wahab says PTI taking credit for federal schemes in Karachi launched by previous govt


March 10, 2020

The Sindh government will support Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar to ensure that he gets the promised grant of Rs5 billion from the federal government as soon as possible for the development of Karachi.

Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister on Law and Environment Barrister Murtaza Wahab, who also acts as the spokesperson for the provincial government, said this as he spoke at a press conference on Monday.

Wahab responded to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Haleem Adil Shaikh who in a press conference a day earlier had claimed that the federal government had paid funds for the development of the city.

“When we asked the Karachi mayor about this development, he replied in the negative while saying that he is yet to get a penny in this regard. They [the federal government] should present evidence to prove their claim of paying Rs5 billion to the Karachi mayor. If this transfer of money hasn’t taken place as yet, we stand with the Karachi mayor to get him transferred this grant immediately,” he said.

“It is our desire that the federal government should readily pay this grant to the Karachi mayor so that he could work for development of the city,” Wahab remarked.

He said that the local government elections in the province were just round the corner and it was the desire of the local leadership of the PTI that no such grant should be paid to the Karachi mayor in order to deprive him the opportunity of taking any credit for the development of the city.

The law adviser maintained that the federal government was also under obligation to present evidence to prove its claim that it had spent money up to Rs1 billion for purchasing fire tenders for the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation.

The federal government of the PTI had claimed that the development projects that were inaugurated by the governor on Saturday were its gift to the people of Karachi, he said, adding that the federally-funded development projects opened on Saturday were, however, conceived in 2018 during the regime of the previous federal government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

“They should be ashamed of taking credit for the development projects, which had been conceived during the regime of the previous government.”

He said all those development projects whose inauguration had taken place on Saturday were originally scheduled to be completed by December 2019. He claimed that the people of Karachi and allies of the PTI in the city were displeased with the federal government owing to the delay in the completion of these projects.

Wahab claimed that the promise of the prime minister to spend Rs162 billion for the development of Karachi had yet to be materialised. “People of Karachi have been searching about the whereabouts of these Rs162 billion. PTI’s people have given misleading statements to defend this development package of the PM for Karachi,” he said.

He added that similar was the fate of the promises of the PM to build a public sector university in Hyderabad and construct a state-of-the-art hospital in Tharparkar.

Criticising the PM for not visiting the city on Saturday due to bad weather, Wahab said, “The affection of the prime minister for Karachi was quite evident from his act just two days back when the PM avoided visiting the city despite his announcement to this effect as on the day all the airline flights operated between Karachi and Islamabad.

He said the Sindh government had been facing difficulties in carrying out development work in the province as it had merely received Rs155.8 billion from the Centre under the National Finance Commission’s award. He said the leadership of the PTI was responsible for the slow progress in the development schemes in Sindh.