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July 5, 2020

Dr Farooq Sattar blames Karachi’s problems on ‘incompetent’ federal, ‘apathetic’ Sindh governments

Karachi

July 5, 2020

Dr Farooq Sattar, a disgruntled leader of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan, on Saturday said that residents, civil society and political activists of Karachi had begun their struggle for the rights of the metropolis, and the federal and Sindh governments would be forced to resolve the issues of its inhabitants.

He was addressing a protest held outside the Karachi Press Club. A large number of people holding banners and placards attended the demonstration.

Although it was claimed that the protest was organised by the Citizen Movement for Karachi, a group of concerned residents and civil society activists, the MQM-Organisation Restoration Committee, a faction led by Sattar, was managing the protest. A number of prominent civil society activists including Rizwan Jaffar and Ayaz Memon Motiwala were also present in the protest.

“I have attended the protest on the invitation of civil society activists and residents,” Sattar said. “The participation of a significant number of residents in Saturday's protest shows that people have been frustrated with both the federal and Sindh governments and want the resolution of civic issues troubling the port city.”

“Karachi is not without its guardians. We are its guardians,” was the main slogan of the protest.

Sattar said the city had been left at the mercy of an incompetent federal government and an apathetic Sindh government. “The rulers should give Karachi its due rights.”

He said the youth should come forward and join the campaign for the city's rights.

Criticising K-Electric (KE) for prolonged load-shedding and overbilling, Sattar said that instead of providing electricity, they had increased tariffs and made people’s lives a hell.

He lashed out at the power utility for what he termed its incompetence and maintained that the institution came under the supervision of the federal and provincial governments. “K-Electric has been playing the role of the East India Company in Karachi by looting its residents,” he remarked.

He asked the federal and provincial governments to take notice of KE’s “anti-people, unjust undeclared load-shedding and overbilling”.

Among the participants, Shabbir Hashmi, a University of Karachi student, said that he attended the protest after reading an invitation on social media.

“Karachi needs a vibrant civic rights campaign because the city has been suffering a lot mainly because of the incompetent federal government, biased Sindh government and toothless Karachi municipality,” he said.

“Heaps of garbage, worsening condition of roads, overflowing sewage water owing to choked sewerage lines, traffic jams, scarcity of potable water, load-shedding and power breakdowns are key civic issues that the Karachi residents face on a regular basis.”

Hashmi said it seemed that no one was interested in resolving the civic issues of the mega city.

Meanwhile, a journalist standing outside the KPC, who was observing the protest, said that the protest was part of the preparations for the upcoming local government polls.

“It seems that Sattar, who has been expelled from the MQM-P, wants to contest the upcoming local government polls with like-minded resident rights groups,” the journalist observed.