KARACHI: The prime minister has failed to fulfil his constitutional responsibility to convene the meeting of the Council of Common Interest [CCI], said Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah at a press conference on Wednesday.
"If you [PM] cannot fulfil your constitutional responsibilities, then hand over your position to someone else," he demanded. The press conference held at CM House was also attended by Pakistan Peoples Party [PPP] Sindh President Nisar Khuhro. Syed Zafar Ali Shah and other influential people of Dadu district announced their defection to the PPP during the press conference.
The CM said he had made the necessary preparations to present Sindh's case regarding gas, electricity and water during the CCI meeting that was scheduled on April 28. However, the prime minister postponed the meeting. "This is a sheer disappointment for the people of Sindh," he said, adding that the Constitution states that the province that produces gas has the first and foremost right to use it but the federal government has denied the people of Sindh this constitutional right.
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Murad said that under the Constitution, the prime minister is bound to convene a CCI meeting after every three months but the last meeting was held in December in which a committee was constituted under the federal law minister to resolve the gas issue. "I personally attended the meeting and the minutes of the meeting were approved. The final decision was to be made during the CCI meeting but the PM postponed it," lamented the CM.
Talking about the Muttahida Qaumi Movement [MQM] - Pakistan's white paper, he said his cabinet members have already responded to the baseless allegations. "They know nothing about the number of administrative divisions, yet they are talking about these issues," he said, denying having withdrawn security the detail of the MQM-Pakistan leaders. He added it was the job of the police to provide security to people who feel threatened. "[MQM-Pakistan head] Dr Farooq Sattar had requested security and he has been given security accordingly," he told participants of the press conference.
Referring to the MQM, the CM said some people have problems with development schemes he has launched in the city. "Their policy is simple - neither do they work for the uplift of Karachi and welfare of its people nor do they let others work," he said. "But I am telling them that I will be serving the people of Karachi with all my heart and soul," vowed Murad.
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The CM also brushed aside the impression that only 40% of the development funds have been utilised during the current fiscal year, saying 60 per cent more funds were used this year as compared to the last fiscal year.
Earlier, Khuhro introduced Zafar, a former taluka nazim and general secretary of the Awami Ittehad led by Liaquat Jatoi, who along with others announced to join the PPP.
Khuhro said people were joining the PPP because they believe it is the only party where they could be heard and respected. Those who joined the party included Zafar, Rehan Hanif, Bakhsahal Khan Panhwar, Moinul Hassan and others.
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The newcomers said they were with Jatoi but he joined the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which they termed a 'non-serious' party.
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Reacting to the Sindh chief minister’s demand with the Centre for water for Karachi, Pak Sarzameen Party General Secretary Raza Haroon said on Wednesday that the provincial government should address the issue instead of asking others.
“Sindh gets 36,370 million gallons of water daily from the federal government, of which Karachi hardly receives 1.5%,” Haroon said, explaining that the water the city was getting from the provincial government was just 550 million gallons daily (MGD).
He said the city housed more than half of the total population of the province but the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party behaved with it like a stepmother. “The government was playing politics on the water issue and it reflected its feudalistic thoughts.”