KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Information, Archives and Labour Saeed Ghani has warned that if detained Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MPA Faryal Talpur is not allowed to attend Sindh Assembly sessions from September 13, he and other MPAs would go to Lahore and remind the Punjab chief minister of the Constitution of Pakistan. Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the minister said that Talpur was not allowed to attend the assembly sessions despite issuance of production orders by the Sindh Assembly speaker.
According to Ghani, Talpur is not a criminal, and false charges have been levelled against her. "We are political people and will go to Punjab to protest peacefully against discrimination."
Ghani took exception to yet another committee announced by the prime minister to deal with issues of Karachi. He said that the prime minister was asked for projects worth Rs200 billion in Karachi but announced a package of Rs162b. He claimed that only Rs12b was allocated for Karachi in the budget presented by the federal government and of that, the Sindh government would be given Rs3b.
"Prior to this [PM's committee], the 'Clean Karachi Campaign' was initiated for which Ali Zaidi created a lot of hype but the citizens of Karachi are suffering the consequences of his campaign," said Ghani. "They claimed to have shifted one and a half million tonnes of garbage but instead 13,000 tonnes of waste was transported to landfill sites," claimed Ghani, adding that there had also been promises of planting 300 sapplings but it turned out to be false.
"If the prime minister does nothing for Karachi and just gives the Rs162b which were promised to the Sindh government earlier, many of Karachi's issues would be solved," claimed Ghani. According to him, the statements of Sindh Governor Imran Ismail and Federal Law Minister Dr Muhammad Farogh Naseem, on the recently formed committee for Karachi's issues were contradictory. "If the prime minister is serious about solving the problems of Karachi, he should pay heed to the truth of the Clean Karachi Campaign," said Ghani. "It is possible that after being aware of the reality of the Clean Karachi Campaign the prime minister might expel Ali Zaidi from his ministry," he added.
Ghani reminded the federal government that it could not do anything in Karachi without the help of the provincial government. "The provincial government was not taken into confidence about the Karachi committee. I will not allow any alternative system to overshadow the provincial government," said Ghani. "The Centre would have to work within the purview of the Constitution and the law."
The minister said that 14 committees of the Sindh Assembly were kept vacant so that the opposition could be represented but the opposition itself has boycotted them. Ghani stressed that the federal government could not change the Sindh local government system. "When the Sindh government did not know what the Karachi committee was going to do, how could we welcome it," remarked Ghani. "The MQM-P is being used by the PTI. They may have wishes but desires have no value before the Constitution."
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2019.
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