KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that dark clouds remained on political horizon of Karachi in 1980s and there was fear and insecurity everywhere at that time.

“We have cleared it [political horizon of the city] completely and will not allow anyone to do it again,” Shah said while talking to the media after visiting the historic NJV School on Saturday. He was accompanied by Education Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar. The chief minister was received at the NJV by Education Secretary Iqbal Durrani, Forest Secretary Sohail Akbar Shah, Sindh Education Foundation Managing Director Naheed Shah Durrani and administration of the NJV School and Akhwat Foundation.

Replying to a question regarding the MQM rally at Tanki Ground in Azizabad, the chief minister said that everyone had right to do politics and hold public meetings. There is no ban on political activities. However, he said, “A wave of fear and insecurity was unleashed in 1980s in the name of politics and service to people of Karachi. This will not be allowed to happen again,” he said. He said that people of Karachi are educated and cultured therefore they have rejected those who destroyed peace of this city and polluted politics with terrorism, arson attacks and hatred just to establish their hegemony. He went on to say, “Now we have cleared the dark clouds from the horizon of this city. Now this city belongs to each and every one who lives here and works here. We have to make this city the city of peace and tranquillity,” he said.

The chief minister said that people had not heard of Tanky Ground in Liaquatabad. Ever since, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has held a public meeting there and got unflinching support and response from people of the area, everyone is rushing there to hold public meetings, he said. “We have set a tradition and now others are following it,” he said. “Let them follow us, but they know very well that people are not with them,” he said.

Shah said that people of Karachi would vote for the Pakistan People’s Party, which served them with heart and soul, in the election of 2018.

Replying to a question about next budget, the chief minister said that funds would be allocated for all ongoing schemes but authentication to use them would be only for three months. “We will make a block allocation [of funds] which the next government will be able to utilise for another nine months (October 2018 to June 2019), but it would have to get authentication from the provincial assembly,” he said.

To a question, the chief minister said the mayor of Karachi had ample powers and sufficient funds to serve people of this city otherwise he would be singing his old song of powers and funds.

Earlier, addressing teachers and Akhuwwat Foundation representatives who have adopted the NJV School, Shah said that real development of the province and the country lies in education of poor children. “I am quite happy to see toddlers of the lower middle class wearing beautiful uniform and speaking English confidently in their classrooms. They know how to deal with their seniors and elders,” he said and added, “This is what I want to see in every government school.”

He said the NJV School had a tradition of creating leading politicians, engineers, doctors and musicians. “I am sure you would keep this tradition alive and generate a new class of national leaders in every field,” he said.

The chief minister said that NJV School was not a simple school. It was an honour to be student of this school, but it has lost its glory with the passage of time. “Believe me, today I felt spiritual satisfaction to see glories of this school and the building restored,” he said. “I am with you [private management of the school] and will always be supporting you, not only as a chief minister, but as an individual as well,” he said.

The chief minister visited classrooms, science lab, art classes, computer lab and playground and interacted with students. He enjoyed his company with toddlers in nursery classes. He heard them sing poems, tell him stories and answer his questions.