The Federal government’s newly announced ‘Clean Karachi’ drive is a positive move on three levels; as a means to clean up the biggest cosmopolitan city of the country, to spread awareness about cleanliness in the city and a politically astute move to show PPP voters in Karachi that they might have chosen the wrong party to protect their interests.

There is no denying that the sprawling metropolitan needs to clean up its streets; apart from purely aesthetic reasons, keeping the city clean is fundamental in protecting the health of the residents of Karachi. One can only hope that the Federal government is looking to do more than provide a facelift – cleaning out many of the open canals and sewers in Karachi won’t be a simple task, which is why the government must be completely invested in this venture.

A cleanliness campaign can also be used to spread awareness about keeping the city clean once the drive is complete; encouraging citizens to participate in this drive might help in accomplishing that as well. The residents of Karachi will need to take ownership over the state of their city after the government has taken care of most of the problem. The only way this drive will be successful is if a cleanliness drive leads to reduced littering and other habits that have turned the city into its current trash-filled state.

Any successful action taken in the city by the Federal government will also help garner more votes for the future. Perhaps this is the biggest reason for carrying out the drive by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) – whatever the reason however, it is hoped that this drive is executed in a way which actually provides for a cleaner city and leads to the improvement of the standard of living. Karachi is the biggest contributor in the national economy and it is hoped that its status as the trading hub of Pakistan will only improve if the city’s condition is brought up to the same standard as its input into national development and growth.