KARACHI - Top political stakeholders in the business hub of the country have agreed to join hands to launch a coordinated effort to improve the situation in Karachi that was hit hard by the recent rainfall.

An understanding over the coordinated efforts emerged on Sunday night after it came to light that the Centre, represented by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), and Sindh province, represented by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), held two ‘secret’ meetings both in Islamabad and Karachi to devise a mechanism to resolve Karachi’s issues.

A meeting between Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar was held at the Governor House to discuss the bottlenecks cropping up in carrying out development work in the city.

The meeting was attended by Minister Local Government Syed Nasir Shah, Minister Labour Saeed Ghani, Chairman NDMA Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal, Mayor Karachi Waseem Akhtar, and others.

Confirming the development, early on Sunday morning, Spokesman for the Sindh government Murtaza Wahab was quoted as saying that two rounds of talks between the Centre and the Sindh government have taken place and a committee comprising of three representatives each from the federal and provincial governments is formed.

However, later in the day, Provincial Minister for Local Government and Information Syed Nasir Shah said that the meeting between Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Federal Minister Asad Umar only discussed bottlenecks in development works and their possible resolution.

PPP, PTI give opposing statements on joint committee

“As far as the formation of a committee for the execution of uplift work is concerned, no such decision was taken in the meeting,” he said. Nasir Shah said that in the city of Karachi, apart from provincial agencies, various agencies of the federal government such as cantonments, DHA, KPT were operating.

“Therefore, various bottlenecks emerge when any scheme or project is initiated” he said, and added that was why the Chief Minister, along with his concerned cabinet members, held a meeting with the federal minister and his team to work out ways and means to remove the bottlenecks.

According to the statement of Nasir Shah, there were some other issues such as removal of sludge from storms water drains, dumping of the sludge at landfill sites, removal of encroachment from the nullas, completion of the schemes `left-incomplete’ were also discussed.

The information minister categorically denied the constitution of any committee to carry out development works in the city. “Development of the city is the responsibility of the provincial government which it is doing to its best,” he said.

PTI’s response -

On the other hand, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Karachi chief and provincial lawmaker Khurrum Sher Zaman commented on the development and said that this was the last chance for PPP to deliver in the city; otherwise the Centre would use its legal options for improving the situation.        

 

“We have given them one more chance to deliver in Karachi,” said the PTI leader.

 

He said that all political parties need to sit together for development in the city. “The formation of the provincial committee is in the interest of the masses,” the PTI leader said adding that the Sindh government now has the chance to change the situation in the city.

 

“This shows the seriousness of the Prime Minister Imran Khan for Karachi,” Khurrum Sher Zaman said and hoped that the committee would take better decisions for the city.

 

MQM-P demands more provinces -

 

Meanwhile, Senior Deputy Convener of the MQM-P Aamir Khan said Karachi’s problems could not be resolved without giving full authority to its locals.

 

“The problem of Karachi cannot be solved until the local people have full authority,” he said in his message on Twitter. “This will only be possible when new provinces are established across the country including Karachi,” Khan added.