KARACHI - Sind Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday refuted reports that the Sindh government had reached a power-sharing formula with other political stakeholders in the province to run provincial capital affairs, asserting that the executive authority lay with the provincial government.

In an attempt to dispel the impression created by meetings between the federal and provincial government ministers a day before, the chief minister told media men at here at a press conference that he had a meeting with Federal Minister Asad Umar which was attended by provincial ministers Syed Nasir Shah and Saeed Ghani and PDMA Chairman Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal, and was aimed at discussing the issues of cleanliness of rainwater drains and completing ongoing development works in the city.

While rejecting reports of formation of any committee to resolve the issues confronting the port city, he said that no such body was constituted, although, he added, the idea had come under discussion at the meeting.

“Yes, committees are formed for political reasons- we are a political party and our doors are always open for dialogue,” Murad said, and added “If someone wants to talk to me on the issues of Karachi, then I would definitely welcome him.”

The CM, however, announced to follow the party [PPP] policies and the Constitution of Pakistan on the matter.

While strongly rejecting the idea of any division of Sindh province, Syed Murad Ali Shah said that those calling for its bifurcation were enemies of the country and were furthering the agenda of India. “I want to warn such elements to refrain from such acts as it could cost them dearly,” he said.  

The chief minister said that some people were discussing such things which were constitutionally impossible. 

“The constitution talks about four provinces, and every province has its constitutional status, privileges and role, but some people have started talking about extra-constitutional measures just to achieve their designs, ,” he said, and urged the media not to take such things seriously.

“Karachi is the capital of Sindh and it has the honour of running the country economically- this is the pain which keeps disturbing some people,” he said, and added “Sindh is a single unit and its division is not possible in our lives.” 

He said that initially the federal government was not ready to take him on board on the provincial matters, but later it changed its mind and sent its representatives to me to discuss the issues faced by the city. He claimed that situation in the city was far better as compared to the past despite unprecedented rains this year. 

“The city was completely inundated during rains in 2007 and before when it had received 200 mm of rainfall,” he reminded.

Lauding the decision taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan to send NDMA to Karachi after heavy rains wreaked havoc in the city, Murad said that the NDMA was a federal organisation and its job was to help the provincial governments at the time of disasters and natural calamities.

“When the NDMA officials came to know the plan the Sindh government had to tackle urban flooding, they also endorsed it,” he said, adding that later the apex court assigned the task of cleanliness of nullahs to the NDMA.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhter had also said that the KMC and the Sindh government were jointly working to clean 38 nullahs of the city.

He told media men that encroachments along nullahs in the city were a major hurdle in the smooth flow of water.

“We, the federal and the provincial governments, would work together because the governance system is interlinked,” he said.

The chief minister brushed aside the impression that he was under pressure. “Syed Murad Ali Shah is not a person who could be pressurized,” he said categorically.

To a question, Murad said that he would try to hold local bodies’ elections at the earliest.