KARACHI            -         Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar on Monday said that he was ready to resign if the issues confronting the city would be resolved with his resignation.

While talking to the media outside the Supreme Court’s Karachi registry, he said, “Karachites pay 65 percent and 95 percent taxes to the federal and Sindh governments, respectively.” He asked as to where the amounts collected in taxes from people of the city were spent. “I am serving in extremely difficult circumstances,” the mayor told the media.

Wasim complained that he was implicated in ‘false and fabricated’ cases and was nominated in dozens of FIRs despite being a mayor. “I have been raising voice for the empowerment of local bodies across the country for the last four years,” he claimed.

Wasim Akhtar further said that the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) had rightly expressed his displeasure over situation in Karachi, which had deteriorated, especially in the last 12 years. He said that no one could deliver with the powers under which he was serving. “The tenure of the local governments is completing on August 28th, and I am not seeing the next local government polls soon,” he expressed the apprehension.

“I request the Chief Justice of Pakistan to hear my petition, seeking orders for empowerment of the local bodies under Article 140-A of the constitution. “The situation might have been different had the petition been taken up by now,” the mayor said. Wasim said that 70 percent of the city was controlled by the federal government while 20 percent by the provincial government, adding that Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) had control over just 10 percent of the city.

He was of the view that all departments which should have been put under the control of the KMC, including building control, master plan, transport, solid waste management and other civic departments were controlled by the Sindh government. “The authority to remove garbage from the rain drains has also been snatched from the KMC, and the provincial government has now delegated these powers to other departments instead,” he regretted.

He said that the voice of Karachites was not being listened to at any level, and no one seemed bothered to resolve issues of the city.

The mayor was of the view that Karachi was being deliberately neglected. “Karachi is the revenue engine of Pakistan and if its economy is destroyed how would federal and provincial governments run?” he questioned.

Wasim Akhtar lamented that non-locals, who had little understanding of Karachi issues, were being imposed on people of the city.”Sewerage, transport water and other issues will continue to persist until natives of the city are given the powers,” he contended.

The mayor, instead, held the provincial government’s departments responsible for the city’s problems, saying they were not doing well.