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Thursday December 02, 2021

Asad Umar claims Sindh CM doesn’t own Karachi

By News Desk
February 01, 2021

KARACHI: Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar has claimed that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah doesn’t own Karachi as, according to him, the present status of the local government system in Sindh also corroborates this assertion.

The federal planning and development minister made the claim to this effect on Sunday as he addressed a ceremony to inaugurate the central office of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Shah Faisal Colony pertaining to the constituencies NA-239 and PS-98.

Asad Umar further claimed on the occasion that the existing local government system in Karachi didn’t match the spirit of the Constitution of Pakistan. He said the local governments should possess all the powers related to municipal governance but the case of Karachi was different. He said the Sindh CM and relevant provincial ministers verbally agreed to fulfill the demand to devolve powers to the local governments but in actual they didn’t take any such step.

He said the elected local government representatives should not remain at the mercy of the provincial government. He said that the next local government elections in the province would be conducted on the basis of new system of municipal governance.

He said that empowered local governments would come into existence as the result of next local government polls. He said that an empowered local government system was key to fulfilling the dream of Naya Pakistan.

He said that a petition had been filed in the Supreme Court by the PTI and its allied Muttahida Quami Movement to empower the local governments in Sindh. He said the present federal government of PTI would continue with its work to develop Karachi as “we own Karachi while it’s the Sindh government, which doesn’t own Karachi.”

The federal minister claimed on the occasion that the federal government faced resistance whenever it wanted to work in Sindh. He said that the provinces did seek support from the Centre.

While responding to a query of a media person on the occasion, Asad Umar said that everybody knew well as to who was behind the present plight of the Pakistan Steel Mills in Karachi. Also speaking on the occasion, Member of Sindh Assembly belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Firdous Shamim Naqvi said that Karachi’s population was double than that of Lahore but the city lacked the basic civic facilities like potable water and transport system. He demanded that the best local government system should be introduced in Karachi.

He said that almost five months had passed since the tenure of elected local government representatives in Sindh had come to an end but no timeframe was being given to hold the next local government elections.

He said that Karachi lacked any master plan for its development while problems of the city had got multiplied in the last four decades. He said the federal and Sindh governments were required to work together to develop Karachi. He said that Karachi needs both peace and development as the top-most priority.

Responding to the statement of federal planning and development minister, Sindh Law and Environment Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that Asad Umar shouldn’t blame the Sindh government that it was not serious to develop Karachi.

Barrister Wahab, who also acts as the spokesman for Sindh government, alleged that the present federal government from the day one lacked the interest to develop Karachi. He said the federal government was attempting to shy away from its obligation to carry out development work as that was why Asad Umar claimed that the federal government faced resistance whenever it tried to carry out development in Sindh.