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August 15, 2020

No constitutional provision of federal rule in Karachi: Murad

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August 15, 2020

JOHI, Dadu: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that there is no provision in the Constitution of Pakistan to carve out Karachi from the rest of Sindh and impose the federal government’s rule there in Karachi.

“If anybody has developed any such an idea in his mind, then he should expel it, otherwise the people of Sindh are strong enough to reject such an attempt.”

He was talking on Friday to the media at the FP Protective Bund, at Johi where he met the victims of the flash floods. He was accompanied by Minister of Irrigation Sohail Anwar Siyal, Minister Rehabilitation Faraz Dero, MNA Rafiq Jamali, MPAs Pir Mujeeb, Shajila Leghari and others.

To a question, Murad Ali Shah brushed aside the impression that the federal government’s rule would be imposed in Karachi to control it directly from Islamabad. “Karachi is not a cup of tea in the PTI’s central government,” he said and added the people of Sindh have given a mandate to Pakistan People's Party to rule the province and its people were strong enough to repulse such a move. Shah said that there was no provision in the Constitution under which the [federal government] could take it [Karachi] away from the rest of Sindh and impose federal rule there. “This is wishful thinking of some politically and constitutional novices and and it would never see fruitition,” he assured.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Irrigation Sohail Anwar Siyal told the Chief Minister that on August 7, 2020, heavy rains in the Khirthar Mountain Range generated flash floods. And by August 8, the water level of Nai Gaj had increased to 28 feet washing away the Gaj Diversion Bund known as Teer Bhit and the floodwater reached FP Bund within four hours. The 250,000 to 300,000 cusecs created huge pressure on the FP Bund, causing seven breaches between RD-00 to RD-75.

Briefing the chief minister, the Chief Engineer Irrigation Zarif Khero said that 50-foot breaches occurred at RD-25 and RD-42, a 40 feet breach at RD-43, 35 feet breach in RD-44, 90-foot breach in RD-51, 100-foot breach in RD-52 and 160 foot in RD-75. This damaged 42,946 houses in 11 union councils and 90 dehs of taluka Johi affecting 240,000 badly.

Secretary Works Imran Atta Soomro said that the floods damaged 50 roads, measuring over 13 km and their restoration would cost around Rs121 million. Similarly, 181 school buildings were damaged in Johi taluka and their restoration would cost Rs443.7 million. Similarly, 33 water supply schemes were also damaged requiring 161.72 million for restoration, he said and added 22.53 kms of road from Johi to Wahi Pandhi was damaged from 12 different spots, including three bridges that were washed away.

The chief minister directed the secretary works to immediately start rehabilitation of the roads and make them usable for motor vehicles within a week. The Minister of Rehabilitation, Faraz Dero, and DG PDMA Salman Shah told the chief minister that they had already started the relief work. The PDMA has distributed 5,000 tents, 20,000 ration bags, 5,000 mosquito nets, 3,000 hygienic kits, 5,000 kitchen kits, 10,000 water jerry cans, 1,000 water coolers and 10 motor boats for relief work.

Meanwhile, while replying to a question about President Asif Zardari’s hearing in NAB on Monday, Murad Ali Shah said that PPP's Central Executive Committee is meeting on Saturday to decide how the PPP co-chairperson would appear before the accountability court. “Zardari is on bail and he has certain health issues despite which he has been summoned,” he deplored and added the CEC would decide how Zardari would appear and who would accompany him during the hearing.

To yet another question, the CM said that he had contested the elections for the provincial assembly seat from Sehwan and Johi and returned successful. “I have respect for people of this area and being their elected member, I’ll serve them to the best of my abilities,” he said.