KARACHI - The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) on Monday staged protest against water shortage and other issues faced by the city and demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan to intervene in the affairs under article 149 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

Speaking at the protest outside the Karachi Press Club, attended by large number of party activists, MQM-P convener and Federal Minister for Information Technology Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that it was unfortunate that the city that contributed 70 percent to federation and over 90 percent to province was asking for water.  The state is deemed as a mother who feeds its children but here it is depriving its citizens of water, he said adding that insufficient funds were earmarked for the city in the budgets.

“We are not asking for excess money to the city instead the due share that it deserves,” he said adding that if court and vote fail to decide for their rights then they would be on roads to safeguard the future of their children. He said that Karachi is the key to progress of the country and its prosperity is interlinked with the country’s progress. “Only MQM tenures had witnessed development for the city and today the biggest metropolitan of the country depicts a picture of a rural centre,” he said adding that people are facing acute water shortages.

PM urged to intervene in Sindh under Article 149

Speaking over delay in K-IV bulk water supply project, Siddiqui said that the project had to be completed in 2011 but hit snags during PPP tenure, causing a steep rise in the amount required for its competition. “The biased provincial government is only focused on looting the province rather than resolving basic issues,” he said.

He further said that a petition under article 140 is pending in the apex court and if it was decided early, the issues faced by the city would have been resolved.

Siddiqui further demanded the intervention of the federal government, stating that if a province adopts biased approach towards any of its part or community and deprive them of their due rights then the prime minister is bound to intervene under article 149 to resolve issues.

Speaking on the occasion, Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar said that protest from the party was a beginning against the attitude of the provincial government towards the biggest metropolitan of the city.

“The PPP government was unable to give a single bus to the city during its 10 consecutive years of rule in the province,” he said.

Akhtar said that being a mayor of the city, who enjoys a mandate, he appeals to the president and prime minister to resolve issues of the city. “There is no hope of anything good from PPP and its provincial government as they only knew ways of corruption rather than serving masses,” he said.

The mayor said that Karachi earns Rs 350 billion a year and if 50 percent of it is spend on the city, it could be properly developed. “I demand the federal authorities to use their authority under article 149 and intervene in the city affairs because if the situation continues in a usual manner then the protest demos would speared across the city,” he said.  Former Opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izhar said the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto speaks over the issues faced by different parts of the country. “The city that generates billions of revenue for the province his party is leading also demands his attention,” he said.