KARACHI: Sindh Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah announced on Monday that the Sindh government would launch a cleanliness drive on September 21 to collect the garbage accumulated in the city. The minister was flanked by Sindh Information, Archives and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani as he addressed the media.
The two provincial ministers made the claim that within a month most, if not all, of the city’s garbage would be collected and disposed of. They promised that the city would look clean and green within a month of the campaign.
According to them, the campaign would gradually be extended to other parts of the province. They urged the media to play its part in highlighting the campaign and requested that the media portray ‘a soft and positive image of the district and provincial authorities’.
They informed that the provincial authorities have increased the capacity of the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB). According to them, the authority currently collects 5,000 tonnes of garbage a day but measures are being taken to extend SSWMB’s capacity to 16,000 tonnes a day. A review meeting would soon be held with Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
The local government minister said that the district authorities would make temporary Garbage Transfer Stations (GTS) throughout Karachi where the garbage would be collected and taken to landfill sites. “At the end of the campaign, the GTS points would be removed,” he said. “The provincial government is coordinating with all authorities including the mayor, Karachi commissioner, deputy commissioners, municipal commissioners and the chairperson of DMCs to chalk out a mutual strategy to address the garbage issues facing the city,” he added.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference on Monday, Ghani and former Senate chairperson Mian Raza Rabbani said that provincial autonomy could not be obstructed after the approval of the 18th Amendment. They maintained that by approving the 18th Amendment parliament had made clear that federal units have their own rights.
According to them, it was before the approval of the 18th Amendment that the federal government had the right to intervene in a province’s internal matters under Clause 2 of Article 149. However, now the federal government has no such authority, they maintained, adding that now under Article 149, the provincial government could only be instructed but nothing could practically be done.
“The Sindh government can resolve all issues which the federal government wants to resolve using Article 149,” said Ghani.
“The purpose of passing the 18th Amendment was to stop whatever was wrong in the past. I will never allow anyone to roll back the 18th Amendment,” said Rabbani. “Such planners live in the fool’s paradise,” he added. The senator said that Pakistan could not afford further instability. Do not ignite linguistic tensions, if its flames spread the whole country will suffer, he said. “The federal government does not have a two-third majority so it cannot abolish the 18th Amendment,” added the senator. “The main element of the country’s Constitution is the parliamentary system which cannot easily be eliminated.”
Ghani said that the Karachi committee constituted by the prime minister must work under the Constitution. “Efforts are being made to move the country towards the presidential system,” alleged Ghani. He claimed that various TV channels were showing specific parts of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s speech under a ‘special agenda’.
“In his speech, Bilawal provided an analysis of how the PPP strengthened the federation and the country even at the cost of their lives,” said Rabbani. The senator added that Bilawal had made clear that there was no clause in the Charter of Democracy which stated that there would be an agreement with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. Rabbani maintained that it was typical of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government to suppress anyone who raised their voice in this country.
“The people of Sindh would never accept the partition of their province. Those planning to separate Karachi from Sindh should keep an eye on regional conditions.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2019.