KARACHI: Members of the Sindh Assembly demanded that the federal government give Karachi a special water quota as the city could face riots in the future.
“Karachi is a metropolitan city where people from different ethnicities live,” argued Irrigation Minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo, stressing that the city was the country’s economic backbone. “We demand that all the provinces allocate some quantity.”
During the Sindh Assembly’s question-answer session on Thursday, he informed the house that the Indus River System Authority has refused to enhance Karachi’s special water quota.
The irrigation department sends 1,200 cusecs to Karachi from Sindh’s share under the 1991 water accord but it isn’t enough. A K-IV supply scheme is going to take four years and will provide Karachi an initial 500 cusecs and 7,000 cusecs by 2025.
MPAs from lower Sindh complain that their people, especially in Badin and Thatta, receive contaminated water through the canals which have been turned into drains.
Stop the operation
The operation in Lyari once again dominated the proceedings with MPAs demanding an police work against criminals in other areas too.
“Why is an operation being conducted in Lyari and Katti Pahari?,” asked Amanullah Mehsud of the Awami National Party. “Criminals live in other areas of Karachi.”
Minister Pir Mazharul Haq of the Pakistan Peoples Party apologised to the people who have suffered but said that “charity begins from home”. “It was decided that action would be taken against criminals in Karachi and we started the operation from our own constituency. The same action would be taken against criminals in other areas too,” he said.
He stressed that Lyari had been neglected by all successive government but this one had provided its people jobs, hospitals, colleges, roads and football clubs.
PPP MPA Rafique Engineer, who belongs to Lyari, said that some criminals have taken the town hostage. “A majority of people in Lyari are innocent but some people started a conspiracy in 2003 to create differences between Baloch living there,” he added.
He named those who had made sacrifices: Waja Kareem Dad, Hassan Soomro, Malik Muhammad Khan and Bhai Jan, who according to him had dedicated their lives to the party. “We want action against criminals involved their assassination.”
Syed Sardar Ahmed of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement dispelled the impression that Lyari was neglected by the city government led by his party’s mayor, Mustafa Kamal. “Many development schemes, including a water line, were given to Lyari,” he said while appreciating the operation in the area.
For the first time, the lawmakers took part in an active discussion against sang chatti (women as penalty). Female MPAs had complained the men had ignored it. MPA Humera Alwani moved a resolution for action against those who influenced the parents of small girls to marry them off in exchange.
Food Minister Nadir Magsi said that he had banned jirgas in which innocent women were exchanged as penalty.
The house also passed a unanimous resolution reposing complete confidence in the prime minister.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2012.