KARACHI: The present delimitations in Karachi and other districts of the province are defective, unrealistic and were carved out on a purely political basis, said Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah. Therefore, in principle the next elections should be held on the basis of fresh delimitations but not at the cost of postponement of the general election.
He said this while addressing a programme organised by the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Thursday.
Shah said that the present constituencies carved out during the tenure of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf were demarcated purely on political grounds. The objective was to keep the Pakistan Peoples Party out of power and favour his cronies, claimed the CM. He said all over Sindh a game was played to make constituencies in such a way that their favourites could return.
Shah said he belonged to Sehwan taluka and his provincial assembly constituency was carved out in such a way that it stretched over three talukas. “I filed an appeal and contested in the court and finally my constituency came in the jurisdiction of two talukas, instead of one taluka,” he said.
Shah said that the next general election should be held on the basis of fresh delimitations for which an exercise may be started as soon as possible. “We want fresh delimitations but not at the cost of postponement of elections,” he clarified.
Talking about the recently-held census, he said that his stance was the same as the one he had been repeating in the media. “My logic is very simple. The census staff must give a copy of the form in which they were recording the data of a family,” he said. “It is quite absurd that my data, in which details of families were recorded, was being kept a secret from me,” he said, adding that these were issues that had raised questions on the transparency of the exercise.
“I urge the statistics division to take necessary measures to make the work you have done credible,” he said.
Speaking about the development of Karachi, Shah said that during the last financial year he had allocated Rs10 billion for the development of infrastructure in Karachi but by the end of the financial year they only used Rs7.5 billion. He said he also gave Rs8 billion to the mayor for development work but the fund utilisation is not visible. He went on to say that he was not levelling allegations of misappropriation but was saying that the utilisation of Rs8 billion was not visible.
“This is my city and nobody can stop me from developing it,” the chief minister said.
Discussing the recent rains in the city, Shah said the mayor and other local body representatives demonstrated an irresponsible attitude. “I rushed my minister to support the people,” he said, adding that an impression was being created that the city had submerged in flash floods and people had drowned. “A drama was created by calling the army, declaring an emergency and making unnecessary hue and cry,” he believed.
As a matter of fact, rainwater was cleared when it stopped raining, he said. He said that he was not only constructing roads but also laying new sewerage and water supply lines. “This work has been done in Saddar, Sharae Fasial, University Road and in various other areas,” said Shah.