KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have no authority to conduct raids in Sindh and it was an ‘invasion’ that would be challenged by the provincial government. Talking to media in a FPCCI programme at the FPCCI building on Monday, he said the executive authority of the federal government or officers of its agencies could not perform the functions of Sindh government in respect of criminal offences regarding the corruption of provincial civil servants.
He said the Sindh government usually gives powers to the Rangers. “Without asking the Sindh government, the NAB and FIA have been allowed by the Centre to conduct raids in provincial and local government offices, arrest officers and make day-to-day working of the government paralysed. I will not allow this. I consider it an invasion ,” he said categorically.
To a question, he said the Supreme Court had fixed September 20 to conduct Local Bodies elections. “You will appreciate that Sindh was the first province which enacted the Local Government Law but the elections could not be conducted as it was challenged in the court,” he recalled. “I will make it clear here that we will not going to extend the election date. We are ready and we will hold the election on September 20,” he assured.
To another question regarding extending the powers of Rangers for another four months, he told the journalist, “It is sub-judiced between you and me,” when he again pressed for the answer the chief minister said his question stands answered.
Earlier, FPCCI Vice President Abdul Rahim Janu welcoming the chief minister said, “I must appreciate Qaim Ali Shah that being captain of the operation in Karachi, he has restored peace in the city. This is not an ordinary job but it cast lot of sacrifices of Sindh police and Rangers personnel,” he said. “I was roaming in Saddar and Tariq Road along with my family during the last one week. This is a great work and peace has returned to the city after a long time.”
The chief minister accepting the demand of the FPCCI directed the KWSB to provide sufficient water to the SITE industrial areas at the earliest. “Water shortage is an overall issue of the city but we would definitely take necessary measures to facilitate the industrial area,” he assured.
The FPCCI told the chief minister that they have a plot but Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) was creating problems to construct the building. “We want to establish an Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) office there to boost our international trade,” said Abdul Rahim Janu. He urged the chief minister to direct the SBCA to solve their problems. Qaim issued directives to the SBCA on the spot to cooperate with the FPCCI and resolve their issues so that the ECO could be housed there.
Qaim said he was taking personal interest to start work on the second track of Lyari Expressway. “It is a very good project and would be beneficial for smooth traffic of industrial area but the federal government was not cooperating to release the funds. For completion of the left-over portion of Lyari Expressway, there are issues of illegal occupation of government land where people have constructed multi-storey buildings. Now, they are demanding compensation. Over Rs6 billion are required to provide compensation. This is a tragedy that the government was being forced to pay compensation to those who have illegally occupied the government land,” he lamented.
He said the federal government was not giving due monetary share to Sindh. “Sindh was given peanuts in Rs585 billion federal PSDP,” he lamented. “Prime Minister was kind enough that he assured Sindh of giving a substantial amount for K-4 mega water project and for Green Line rapid bus transport (RBT).”
Replying to different questions of FPCCI members, the chief minister said his government was giving special attention to generate electricity from indigenous sources like coal, wind and solar. “We are very serious and focused to solve energy crisis in Sindh by installing different plants on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode,” he added.
He formed a task force to solve the environmental issues of industrial areas. “We have been given the GSP plus status so we have to come up to its standards,” he said. The task force on environment will work under Industries Department Minister Ghulam Qadir Malkani and FPCCI representative Feroze Gulzar would be its valuable member who has a considerable command on the issue,” he said.
The chief minister, on suggestion of the FPCCI members, also announced developing coastal areas of the province to attract and improve tourism avenues. “Sindh government has established Coastal Development Authority and it has been entrusted with the task of development.
I will personally monitor their work and FPCCI’s more suggestions would be sought to make the coastal areas attractive, safe and secure areas,” he said.
Qaim said over Rs65 billion were being spent on the maintenance of law and order. “We have developed the capacity of police force by giving them special training and necessary equipment.
My government has also enhanced the compensation of the police men who lose their lives in the line of their duty. It has been increased from Rs500,000 to Rs2 million,” he said.
The CM said he had given cash prizes to secret agencies, policemen and Rangers for their excellent work. The FPCCI and Sindh government agreed to work out proposal to provide scholarships to the children who embraced martyrdom while performing their duties.
Moreover, Qaim has telephoned Interior Ministr Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khah to lodge protest over raids and alleged harassment by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Sindh.
According to spokesman for the chief minister, Qaim Ali Shah told the federal minister that activities of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the FIA were intervention in the provincial autonomy.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain on Monday praised the bold stance of Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on the issue of giving additional powers to FIA . In a statement, he said MQM fully supports the stand taken by the CM that giving more powers to the FIA was tantamount to attacking the province. “CM Sindh has rightly said that legislation should be done to stop such injustices to the provinces.” Altaf urged the parliamentarians from Sindh to set aside their ideological differences and launch a united effort for the legal and constitutional rights of the province.