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July 30, 2020

MQM-P hails PM’s backing of plea for empowering local governments

Karachi

July 30, 2020

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Wednesday lauded Prime Minister Imran Khan for raising his concerns over the Sindh government’s alleged attempts to paralyse the local government system and for backing the plea filed in the Supreme Court for the implementation of Article 140-A of the constitution.

A day earlier, the PM had said that “Karachi’s long-standing problems can’t be solved unless the elected LG representatives of the people become financially, politically and administratively autonomous in the spirit of the Constitution”.

He had also directed the attorney general to immediately appeal to the SC for an early hearing of and decision on the petition related to Article 140-A that was filed in the top court. The MQM-P, a coalition partner of the PM’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said in a statement that a constitutional amendment was needed to form an empowered LG system in line with Article 140-A, and without it, resolving the civic issues of Karachi and other major urban centres was not possible.

They accused the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sindh government of taking revenge from the residents of the province’s urban centres, including Karachi, for not voting for them in the elections by snatching the powers and funds of their LG system.

“The Sindh government has claimed the powers of providing water, disposing of sewage and garbage, and other civic responsibilities in Karachi after snatching them from the city government.”

They said that after the MQM-P won the LG polls, the provincial government snatched several departments, particularly the Karachi Development Authority, Solid Waste Management, Master Plan, Education, Health, Local Taxes, Revenue and Food, before the elections of the mayor and district chairmen.

“They [the Sindh government] has limited the powers of the Karachi mayor to those of a town municipal committee of interior Sindh,” said the MQM-P, claiming that because of that, the departments working under the provincial government had destroyed Karachi completely. They said they expect the federal government to play its role in resolving the problems of the residents of Sindh’s urban centres, including Karachi, and giving them back their due rights.