KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Tuesday claimed that suspects involved in Karachi bus attack on Ismaili community had been identified, hoping they would soon be brought to justice.

At least 45 members of the Ismaili community, including 13 women, were killed when six gunmen attacked their bus near Safoora Chowrangi on May 13.

Speaking on the floor of the Sindh Assembly, he said suspects arrested by the law enforcement agencies in connection with Karachi carnage had been identified, adding the statements of eyewitnesses have also been recorded. He said the incident could never be forgotten as several innocent lives were lost in its wake.

He refused to bow to opposition’s demand of stepping down, saying no one in the past tendered resignation over terror incidents. “Pervez Musharraf was attacked twice and Corps Commander was attacked during Arbab Rahim government but no one stepped down,” he said. “Law and order situation is improving in Karachi. Prime Minister, Army chief, ambassadors and traders have appreciated it,” he claimed.

Recounting the achievement of his government and improvement in law and order, he said he enjoyed the support of people of Sindh, adding criticism is the business of opposition. He said that before the May 13 ghastly incident, law and order situation was improving. He claimed that 90 per cent cases of kidnapping for ransom have been resolved. He said the operation against criminals was going with full force in the province. He vowed to continue anti-terror operation until elimination of last terrorist. “I will present a booklet of fact and figures about law and order so one can gauge the performance of provincial government.” The House witnessed commotion on the issue of asking the Indian spy agency RAW for help and the MQM members clarified that their party chief did say such thing. The commotion started when opposition leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan, during his speech on pre-budgetary proposals, said the chief minister should clarify the points raised by the Corps Commander in his speech which he said was an indicator.  Upon which, Local Bodies Minister Sharjeel Memon said that clarification should also come as to who had asked RAW for help and who had imparted training of gun shootings in Clifton then we will inform about the incidents of killings taken place from 2008 to 2013. After that Sindh Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah, while winding up debate, said at first the peace of Karachi was destroyed and then the enemy was asked for help which was not acceptable to them. Why the need arise to ask RAW for help, he added. This prompted ruckus and MQM members rose in protest.

MQM parliamentary leader Sardar Ahmed said Altaf Hussain did not ask RAW for help, adding wrong perception was created about that. Altaf has sarcastically uttered these words and after that he apologized.

There is no need to politicise this issue now which has been calmed down, he said.

Earlier, participating in discussion, opposition leader Khawaja Izhar said although allocations were made, packages and attractive schemes were announced in every budget but various indicators and surveys showed nothing visible at the end of the financial year.

 He said almost all the members expressed their concerns over the performance of law and order, education, health, planning and development departments. He said the government had claimed of utilising huge funds for the development schemes in Karachi but one could witness broken infrastructure and heaps of garbage littered everywhere.

He said hundreds of local bodies were denied their salaries for the last two years. “It is the desire of opposition that every minister will have to inform them about the performance of their respective departments.”

Izhar said now the opposition had tightened its belt and opposition members would visit every department and evaluate the performance of the ministries. He suggested that government should announce the date for local bodies’ elections in the coming budget.

Talking about law and order, Sindh government cannot claim credit for law and order in the city. The gory incident of Army Public School Peshawar had changed the entire scenario and the armed forces launched operation and also the credit must goes to the Rangers for restoration of law and order in Karachi, he added.

Sindh Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sikandar Mandhro said discussion on pre-budget proposals for the provincial budget 2015-16 and on financial reports about the nine-month performance of the government was aimed at informing the people about utilisation of public money. He said a mechanism should be evolved regarding the release and utilisation of funds.

Responding to opposition’s criticism, Memon said the government had carried out development works in Karachi and a number of development projects were underway. He said proper and impartial guidelines had been given to officers for working.

The minister said the government was going to outsource the cleanliness work of the metropolis and an American company is under consideration for lifting the garbage from the city. He said some other companies were also under consideration for this job.

He said the Solid Waste Management Board would start functioning from September.

He said water shortage was a serious problem and government was trying its level best to overcome the crisis with better management and distribution. He said 1,000 water tankers were being distributed in the city from Monday and deputy commissioners were deputed on the demand of opposition as the in-charge of distribution.

He rejected the allegation, saying his son is the owner of Salar House in Tharparkar and it was built when he was not the minister.

He said a woman opposition member was criticising him unnecessary but he wanted to reply her because she voted the PPP candidate in recent senate election.