Sindh govt denies 'formation of committee' to resolve Karachi issues

Provincial minister says only bottlenecks to carry out uplift works in the city were discussed with federal government


Hafeez Tunio August 16, 2020
Provincial Minister for Local Government and Information Syed Nasir Shah. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI:

Sindh Minister for Local Government and Information Syed Nasir Shah has said that only bottlenecks to carry out development works in Karachi were discussed and their resolution was sought in the meeting between Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Federal Minister Asad Umar, denying the formation of any "committee".

The statement was in stark contrast of the of Sindh government spokesperson Barrister Murtaza Wahab who had earlier confirmed the formation of a committee comprising members of the PPP, PTI and the MQM-P to resolve the port city's problems.

The body will remove obstacles hindering development work, Wahab had said, adding that the PPP-led Sindh government is always willing to work together for the betterment of the province. If the governments work together problems can be resolved.

However, Nasir in his statement said, "As far as the formation of a committee for the execution of uplift works is concerned no such decision was taken in the meeting."

He said that in the city of Karachi, apart from provincial agencies, various agencies of the federal government such as cantonments, DHA, KPT are operating. "Therefore, various bottlenecks emerge when any scheme or project is initiated." That's why the chief minister along with his relevent cabinet members held a meeting with the federal minister and his team to work out ways and means to remove the bottlenecks, he added.

According to the statement of the provincial local goernment minister, there were some other issues such as removal of sludge from stormwater drains, dumping of the sludge at landfill sites, removal of encroachment from nullahs, completion of the schemes "left-incomplete" were also discussed.

He categorically denied the constitution of any committee to carry out development works in the city. “Development of the city is the responsibility of the provincial government which it is doing to its best.”

Since the Centre directed the National Disater Management Authority (NDMA) to clean storm water drains in Karachi, rumours have been afloat speculating the federal government's moves regarding the metropolitan city. They were further feuled by Attorney General of Pakistan Khalid Javed stating before the Supreme Court that the federal government was considering various legal and constitutional options for the city.

On Friday, CM Murad dismissed the idea of handing over administrative control of the provincial capital to the Centre.

"If anyone has developed any idea of separating Karachi from Sindh, they should take it out of their mind," he said, warning that the province's people would resist such plans.

The chief minister further said the notion of ruling the port city from the Centre, with the PTI at the helm, was not plausible. "Karachi is not the PTI government's cup of tea."

He argued that Sindh's people had given their mandate to the PPP, saying that no provision in the Constitution allowed federal rule over a provincial capital. "This is merely wishful thinking by some politically and constitutionally empty-minded people."

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